No Metta World Peace for Ron Artest, Yet

At a time when sports officials at all levels are rightly concerned with criminal behavior on the part of fans, still little concern is evident for the illegal and oft-times dangerous conduct of athletes.

Granted, though his public conduct over his two seasons with the Lakers has been benign, Ron Artest is still the epitome of the athlete whose on-court actions should have led to a lifetime ban from the NBA, as well as criminal prosecution. In the spirit of other such criminals as Juan Marichal (who “only” attacked another player with a deadly weapon) and Frank Francisco (who committed the ultimate assault against unsuspecting fans), Artest should never had been let back in after his part in the infamous player-fan brawl in Detroit one fall eve in 2004. For his part in assaulting fans and players alike, Artest was suspended the laughable count of 86 games. He served several suspensions afterwards for various additional assaults against coaches, teammates, and cameramen, and also served jail time for a conviction for domestic assault.

But he is a changed man, so they say.

Making headlines this offseason, Artest has announced to the world his desire to effect a legal name change to Metta World Peace. With a court hearing set for today on his application, it seemed strange that he would not himself appear in court, as the publicity-seeking Artest is not one to miss any photo-op.

Well, low and behold, the reason for his non-appearance became clear as his application was delayed, and he avoided arrest (Artest Arrest, how apropos) by not showing up, as



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the Court announced he could not proceed until several outstanding warrants were resolved. Awaiting details, my guess is there is more involved there that a speeding ticket or two.

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