Ron Artest Changes Name to 'Metta World Peace'

He joins a long line of famous name changers.

Sept. 17, 2011— -- Ron Artest is out and 'Metta World Peace' is in.

While NBA star Artest will swap the basketball court for the ballroom floor, joining this season of "Dancing with the Stars" next week, he made a bigger change by switching names.

A Los Angeles court made the change official Friday and Artest is now "Metta World Peace."

"Metta" is a Buddhist term meaning loving, kindness -- an enlightened choice for a player known for his violent basketball brawls.

He joins a long line of famous name changers.

There's fellow athlete and "Dancing" star Chad Johnson, who decided the 85 on the back of his jersey fit better at the end of his signature and Chad Ochocinco -- 85 in Spanish -- was born.

Then there's Prince, who changed his name to a symbol.

People adapted and simply referred to him as "the artist formerly known as Prince" until he changed it back to plain old Prince again.

And, of course, there's Sean Combs, who's had nearly as many names as platinum records, starting with Puff Daddy then to Puffy to P Diddy.

Cassius Clay famously changed his name to Muhammad Ali, and then became one of the greatest boxers of all time.

And it may be that Metta World Peace was inspired by another NBA player, Lloyd Free, who was a star in the 1980s, before and after he changed his name to World B. Free.