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Impact of Metta World Peace’s name change on the world

In the midst of US airstrikes in northern Iraq today, society was hit with a bigger bombshell this morning when the man born Ron Artest announced his new legal moniker:

 And apparently there’s more:

For those confused, the former Metta World Peace signed a one-year, $1.43 million deal with China’s Sichuan Blue Whales in late July. While promoting world peace was an idea too ambitious and unrealistic, The Pandas Friend proves himself once again a true do-gooder for raising awareness of the endangered species, while suiting up for a club named as well after a disappearing animal.

According to, there were an estimated 1,600 pandas alive in 2004, and more recent guesses close the number to 1,000. Following Yao Ming’s preservation efforts, Friend likely realized his strongest potential impact would be changing his name. So when basketball fans look up stat lines to his glory years with the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, or download his Tru Warrior rap tracks and “Champions” single following a 2010 NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers, they will be reminded of the pandas’ bleak future and possibly give a damn about it. Forget the 34-year-old’s severely eroding offensive and defensive skills. This is about making a positive difference on the Earth.

Friend’s new name won’t make him any less intimidating either. With a towering 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame, if and when the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year is forced into action by patrolling China’s lush bamboo forests between the Qinling and Minshan mountains, his demented smile and piercing stare will be enough to deter any armed caravan of poachers. Ideally, Friend should adopt a male and female panda and raise them as his own (see his four children, they’re doing okay) to ensure the species’ survival.

All in all, this was a good day for the world. Don’t forget how Friend’s name change will also help the image of PETA, and temporarily increase sales for Panda Express. His basketball career is coming to an end, but Friend’s noble humanitarian efforts are coming into their own.

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Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is an NFL and NBA aficionado whose credits include Yahoo! Sports, FanNation, GoldenGateSports and He also owns the Rui sympathizes with every West Coast team.

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