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Metta World Peace changing name to The Pandas Friend

Aug 7, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

giant panda at chengdu, china giant panda at chengdu, china

Metta World Peace will be playing in China next season.

Actually, check that.

After teasing another name change on Twitter…

…World Peace – nee Ron Artest – has his new name.

China Daily (hat tip: Scott Rafferty of Hardwood Paroxysm):

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.

World Peace, who is known in China as “Ci Shiping”, a literal translation of “Metta World Peace,” now plans to name himself after China’s giant panda, a precious animal based in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, where his new team is also based.

Yes, The Pandas Friend sounds silly, but I think it’s important people have the right to be called what they want to be called. So, The Pandas Friend it is.

Considering he legally had his name changed to World Peace, I’m guessing he’ll do the same for The Pandas Friend.

I can’t wait to hear more about the adventures of Friend (not pictured) in China this season.

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