So, here's a guy who is now officially known as Metta World Peace. Surely you have heard his story, the formerly troubled player known as Ron Artest was best known for, among other incidents, going into the stands and attacking fans during a brawl. It wasn't a pretty sight:
See? You remember that ugly incident.
After wearing out his welcome with several teams (including my Bulls), Artest finally realized he was destroying his career and himself. In September of 2011, he legally changed his name to Metta World Peace, in his own words "...to inspire and bring youth together all around the world" and to help change his image.
Metta is a traditional Buddhist word that means loving kindness and friendliness towards all; I don't think I need to explain World Peace.
Was it over the top? Was it gimmicky? Yes and yes. But, in the ensuing years, as his career on the hardwood was winding down, World Peace became a strong advocate for mental health awareness. he even sold his 2009-10 NBA Championship ring to raise money for various mental health charities. He's also posed for PETA ad campaigns encouraging people to report animal abuse and to have their pets fixed.
So, if Ron Artest/Metta World Peace can change his violent ways and use his cultural influence in positive ways, that's exactly the spirit of the International Day of Peace. So, beside his name just happening to tie in, his life since he made the change does as well.
Meanwhile, you might be asking yourself, I thought you collected the Cubs and a little bit of the Bears? How did you end up with random basketball cards?
Well, they came with a large lot of baseball cards that I bought from a garage sale about a year ago. I couldn't bear to throw them away, even though I really have no use for them, because I'm a cheapskate and a minor hoarder. At least I can own those monikers.
Anyway, even though the day is almost over, I wish you all a happy International Day of Peace! I'll play you out with a John Lennon classic. I'd have shown off my original 45rpm single of the track if it wasn't packed away in storage or John Lennon's Pro Set card if I had it. So, sorry, this Youtube clip will have to do.