If you’re a basketball fan, or have paid attention to our Funny Names in the News segments, you may recognize the name Panda Friend, which was briefly the moniker of former NBA star Metta World Peace (nee Ron Artest) as he made his mark in the Chinese professional basketball league.
It appears that he has gone back to Metta World Peace – he chose the first name “Metta” because it’s a traditional Buddhist word meaning “loving kindness and friendliness toward all.” What a truly lovely sentiment, and one we share here at the BoFN. It’s always fantastic to find kindred spirits out there. It’s even better when you find out your kindred spirits could bench press you with one arm!
What you may not know is that when Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace, he wasn’t the only person in his family to change their last name. His daughter, Diamond, decided to follow dad’s lead and become Diamond World Peace, which is one of the greatest names any of us have ever encountered. According to the LA Times, in 2011, 8-year-old Diamond decided to go ahead with the name change due to “love and respect for her father,” which is as good a reason as any!
Seems like “World Peace” is a great last name for such a respectful young lady. What’s even more impressive is it’s not all love and cuddles for young diamond: despite not having entered her teen years, she has accomplished something greater than many of us have in many more decades. Diamond World Peace has overcome kidney cancer!
To commemorate this, she released the song Fighter with the legendary vocalist Sade.
How unbelievably amazing is that?!? I am so impressed with Diamond that I can’t even make a “diamond in the rough” joke here – there’s nothing “in the rough” about this youngster – she’s already mature and polished!
But not only that, she has boxing references in the lyrics – 1, 2, 1, 2 knockout punch!
There is precious little info about Diamond out there on the interwebs – just as well, given that she’s … you know … twelve – so let’s close this one out with our favorite stories (both humorous and heartwarming) about
Ron Artest Metta World Peace Panda Friend Metta World Peace.
- (Humorous) As a rookie for the Chicago Bulls, he was criticized for applying to a job at Circuit City in order to get an employee discount.
- (Humorous) In February 2004, he wore a bathrobe over his Pacers uniform during practice as a “symbolic reminder to take it easy.”
- (Heartwarming) While on Dancing With The Stars, he donated all of his earnings from the show to the Cancer Research Foundation in honor of Diamond overcoming kidney cancer.
- (Heartwarming) He’s a big supporter of mental health charities, and donated his entire 2011-2012 charity, as well as the proceeds from the sale of his LA Lakers championship ring, to mental health organizations.
- (Wow, just wow) He was 2004’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year!
- (Humorous…because a humor blog really should end on a humorous note)…
HE GOT WHEATIES!!! in my favorite basketball press conference ever. The jubilant Artest – after winning his first NBA title – was pure exuberance and hilarity, and invited Diamond to “shine” in the press conference.
Until next time, may you shine on, like a Diamond (and Metta) World Peace!