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Metta World Peace to change name to 'The Panda's Friend'

By James Herbert | NBA writer

The artist formerly known as Ron Artest is changing his name again.  (USATSI)
The artist formerly known as Ron Artest is changing his name again. (USATSI)

Offseason: Free Agency | Latest from Ken Berger | Rumors

Metta World Peace is going to China, and he won't be known as Metta World Peace there. Nope, the new Sichuan Blue Whales' new small forward won't be called Ron Artest, either. He intends to change his name to …

(Drumroll)

The Panda's Friend.

China Daily initially reported he'd be going by Panda Friend:

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.

Despite retweeting fans calling him Panda Friend, he says it's The Panda's Friend. There was also all of this:

No word yet on how Washington Wizards guard Bradley "Big Panda" Beal feels about this.

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