On Monday, Metta World Peace signed with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association. The world would be kidding itself if it did not expect eccentric dominoes to follow.

On Wednesday, China Daily, an English-language newspaper, reported World Peace plans to change his name to "Panda Friend." World Peace, born Ronald William Artest Jr., made his initial name change in September 2011.

The former All-Star, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA champion had foreshadowed the name change for the past week. He started his transition to China with a nod to the nation's famous animal based in the Sichuan province.


Then he started hinting at some name changes while negotiating his contract.




World Peace is known for his eccentricities during an NBA career that featured both praise -- he won the 2011 J. Walker Kennedy Citizenship Award–and controversy -- he was suspended 86 games 2004-05 for attacking a fan in stands. On his first name change, World Peace said in a statement: "Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."

Initial reports claimed World Peace's new name would simply be 'Panda Friend.' It now appears the name is a bit more complex.


ThePostGame is choosing to use an apostrophe, assuming World Peace's camp will fix his grammar.

World Peace's contract is reportedly a one-year deal for $1.43 million. It makes him the highest paid import player in CBA (not collective bargaining agreement).

It has been a long road for the man once known for "Malice at the Palace." Now, his future name will imply a tender relationship with a furry animal.

Related Story: Metta World Peace Discusses Obama, Michael Jordan, Jesus And George Bush

-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.

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