Metta World Peace, the ex-NBA star known for his eccentric and outspoken behavior, has announced yet another change to his name prior to playing his first season in China. After signing with the Sichuan Blue Whales, the player announced earlier this week that he will now be called “The Panda’s Friend”, making this his second name change in three years.
ESPN reports that Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, has specifically chosen to go by the name “The Panda’s Friend”, not to be confused with “Panda Friend”, something that he made clear on social media.
Guys my chinese name is not "Panda Friend" , its "The Pandas Friend".
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) August 7, 2014
The initiative seems to have garnered support from fans online.
— ce (@ceceinsalaco) August 8, 2014
— JDM_Troy (@Troy_Ortega) August 8, 2014
— Tad (@honk4tad) August 7, 2014
Including the Western Chinese food chain Panda Express.
— Panda Express (@PandaExpress) August 7, 2014
As for the meaning behind his new identity?
Ill explain in my book #ThePandasFriend
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) August 8, 2014
The suspense kills.
Metta, er, Panda, who won the NBA defensive player of the year award in 2004, joined the Chengdu based team in a deal worth $1.4 million, and is just one of many former NBA stars turning to the CBA in the twilight of their careers.
By Robert Ridley
[Image via Twitter]