Ron Artest Can't Change His Name to 'Metta World Peace' Until He Pays His Traffic Tickets

I thought they was fan mail!
I thought they was fan mail!
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Lakers forward Ron Artest -- who would much rather you call him Metta Word Peace, because it sounds cooler, and means "togetherness," or something -- saw his pilgrimage rather unromantically cock-blocked today in L.A. Superior Court.

Ballers -- they're just like us! Artest was forced to delay his name-change hearing until September 16, because...

... the peace-loving philanthropist has multiple "outstanding traffic warrants he's taking care of," according to a public-relations officer at the court.

We're guessing, the outstanding fines might have been a bit harder to collect when connected to a non-existent Artest character. Like, "I don't know what you're talking about, man! Ron who? We Metta now!"

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Still, it was the NBA star's own attorneys who requested the continuance today -- giving their client three weeks to tackle his pile of pesky red-and-white envelopes.

Kind of ironic that the same guy who just publicly raised $650,000 to support mental-health programs by raffling off his 2010 NBA championship ring can't afford a parking ticket. Why can't he just put his sweaty locker-room towel on eBay or something? (But in the end, we've all been there. As evidenced by the city's $15 million hole where our hard-earned moneys are supposed to be.)

We should have seen this coming, given Artest's September 2010 traffic stop "as he was driving what appeared to be a full-on, Indy-style race car on the streets of L.A." From the LA Weekly post:

Turns out, according to the Wall Street Journal, the one-seat, open-wheeled vehicle is actually street legal. The 152-mile-an-hour capable Eagle Roadster has all the necessary lights and bumpers. But ... Artest allegedly didn't have his registration up-to-date and received a ticket.

Anyway, in conclusion: Artest's strange crusade to become a (very literal) one-man symbol of World Peace will have to wait a while longer, for hilarious reasons. Too bad the world used up all its Artest-related Twitter snark the first time this news came around.

Here's his June-time defense of the crazy kumbayatic pick:


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