Metta World Peace, born Ron Artest, is changing his name again and this time the words to grace the back of his jersey are going to be ‘The Panda’s Friend.’
The basketball star announced he would change his name shortly after celebrating his new contract with the Chinese team Sichuan Blue Whale Basketball Club. The club paid $1.43 million for the one year contract that will bring World Peace to China for the upcoming season and he is so excited, he needs a new name for it.
“I’m changing my name for the China this season!!!! You guys will love it,” he posted on Twitter on July 31st.
He kept the suspense going for a few days until the Chinese publication, China Daily, got the scoop.
“New high-profile import playing for Chinese basketball Association club Sichuan Blue Whales is known as Ron Artest but intends to change his name to ‘Panda Friend’ in honor of his move to China,” wrote the publication.
World Peace corrected the news, however, which had a little translation snag, on Twitter on Thursday.
“Guys my chinese name is not ‘Panda Friend’, its ‘The Pandas Friend,’” he wrote.
For those that follow his Twitter feed, the news shouldn’t have been that surprising as he had announced his first order of business in China will be to visit a panda bear.
The man clearly loves pandas and now he is going to have the name to prove it.