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Chad Ochocinco inspired Ron Artest’s name change

Sep 1, 2011, 10:27 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Artest arrives at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles Reuters

Does this surprise to you at all?

Ron Artest was talking about his name change to Metta World Peace with with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio (as reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles) and he asked what we’ve all been wondering: What exactly motivated this move?

Turns out, we can blame Chad Ochocinco. Just like we can for all the world’s ills.

When Ocho did it, I was like, ‘That’s kind of dope. I want to change my name,'” Artest said. “But then I was like, ‘I’m not going to do it because that just don’t make sense.'”

Apparently somewhere along the line, that started to make sense. So his first name will be Metta — he says it means friendship and kindness — and his last name will be World Peace.

Well, it will be once a judge signs off on it. That was supposed to happen last week but it got held up because Artest treats his parking tickets like I did when I was in college.

“It comes down to the parking tickets. I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life,” Artest told Stephen A. Smith on 710 ESPNLA Wednesday night.

“There’s so much fine print,” Artest continued. “I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”

That last sentence is just very Artest. Actually, this whole thing is very Artest.

Just like doing Dancing with the Stars. Or tearing up at Celine Dion.

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