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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:59 PM ET, 08/26/2011

Countdown to Metta World Peace: Ron Artest name change put on hold

(Watch the soon-to-be Metta World Peace doing stand-up comedy here.)

People around the world watched the final seconds tick off their countdown clocks Friday afternoon, anxiously awaiting the moment they’d dreamt of for months: the arrival of Metta World Peace.
He’s not Metta World Peace, yet. It’s still Ron, Ron to you. (GARY MALERBA - AP)

As it turns out, they’ll have to wait another day — or another three weeks, to be exact.

That’s right, Ron Artest’s long-anticipated name change to Metta World Peace hit a pothole Friday when a Los Angeles court commissioner delayed ruling on Artest’s petition. It seems Mr. (soon-to-be) Peace ... or is it Mr. World Peace (?) ... has a few outstanding traffic warrants.

Let Artest’s experience serve as a life lesson for all: you cannot legally change your name if you have not paid off your parking tickets!

Artest tweeted Thursday night that he was throwing a celebratory BBQ on Friday. So much for that...

A person close to Artest told The Los Angeles Times the NBA star was shocked (shocked, I say!), to here about the tickets.

“He was definitely surprised the court believes these tickets are out. If the tickets are found to be valid, Ron plans on paying them. He wants the name change to go forward without additional delays.”

If you'll recall, Artest was pulled over last fall driving an Eagle Roadster with expired registration.

Never fear, though. The 31-year-old Artest is due back in court on Friday, Sept. 16 to make it official. (The Los Angeles Times posted Artest’s paperwork.)

In the meantime, he’d also like a new jersey number — from 37 to 70.

Why, you ask? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Kind of like deciding to change your name from Ronald William Artest, Jr. to Metta World Peace.

“I’m changing it to 70 because it’s like something to do with the universe,” Artest told Yahoo! Sports. “Everything kind of repeats itself. The universe is one. It’s the same thing. Healthy minds, just keeping the kids positive.”

Feeling strangely unsatisfied? Here, I’ll leave you some stand-up from the artist soon-to-be-known as MWP from The Los Angeles Times.

By  |  03:59 PM ET, 08/26/2011

 
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