Ron Artest

Instead of throwing a barbecue to celebrate his name change to Metta World Peace, Lakers forward Ron Artest plans to navigate the legal system.

With outstanding traffic warrants preventing Artest from legally changing his name, the Lakers forward wants copies of the citations and will pay them if “it’s found they are unpaid,” according to a person close to Artest who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

It was expected that the name change would be made official at a hearing Friday morning at Stanley Mosk Courthouse, but Artest’s next court date was scheduled for Sept. 16 because of the unspecified traffic citations. Artest was issued two tickets for “moving violations,” according to the person, but wasn’t informed how much they cost and what incidents earned him those citations.

– Reported by the Los Angeles Times blog

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