Metta World Peace and the 5 Most Ridiculous Name Changes in Sports

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Metta World Peace and the 5 Most Ridiculous Name Changes in Sports

World Peace
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On Sept 16, 2011, Ron Artest officially changed his name to Metta World Peace. The NBA veteran said he wanted to inspire youth around the world and bring them together. World Peace’s name change is easily one of the worst and most heard of, so I will not be putting it on the list.

Before we get to the list, I want to take some time to note some good name changes in sports history.

Former boxer Marvin Hagler changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler and the name certainly fits. He only lost three fights out of 67 and knocked out a middleweight record 78 percent of his opponents. With 12 title defenses, he definitely earned the "Marvelous."

In 1972, Bobby Moore legally changed his name to Ahmad Rashad after converting to the Islam religion. I think this was a good change because Bobby Moore is so bland and commonplace. Plus, Ahmad Rashad is really catchy.

Former NFL wide receiver Mark Duper changed his name to Mark Super Duper. I have to admit, this one made me smile. Well-played, Mr. Super Duper!

After his 21st birthday, Eldrick Woods officially became Tiger Woods. This was a smart move for the world-famous golfer seeing as how the whole world knew him as Tiger anyway.

But then there are the name changes which are not so great. A few of the honorable mentions that did not make the list include Donald A. Smith, the basketball player who changed his name to Zaid Abdul Aziz. I understand changing your name for religious purposes, but could he have chosen a harder one to spell or pronounce? It does not roll off the tongue at all.

Similarly, Akeem Olajuwon changed his name to Hakeem Olajuwon. Again, religious purposes all fine and good, but really? How lazy can you be? A single letter added?

Finally, the last honorable mention is former NFL defensive end Stylez G. White who changed his name to reflect his favorite character in the movie Teen Wolf.

Here are the five guys who actually made the list.

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

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Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco

85
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

This is probably the only name change on the list that almost everyone has heard about. On Oct 25, 2006, NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco since his jersey number was 85. Besides the fact that it is a stupid last name, it is not even grammatically correct as “Ochocinco” is just “eight” and “five” pushed together in Spanish. He ought to have changed it to “Ochenta y cinco” to be slightly less stupid. The only bright side is he legally changed it back in 2012.

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Brian Williams to Bison Dele

Bison
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

This former NBA center had his name legally changed to Bison Dele in 1998 after he found out about his Native American roots. But really? Bison? There must be way better animals to name yourself after like Eagle or Stallion or maybe even Snake.

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Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lew Alcindor is an awesome name! It is so catchy and cool-sounding. Why on earth did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar go and change it? I understand he had religious reasons and changed it for that, but when you have a great name, you should never change it. Alcindor is an easy opening for cool headlines like “Alcindor Burns Down Opponents.” NBA writers everywhere mourn the lost potential.

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Jon Koppenhaver to War Machine

UFC
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Koppenhaver was an MMA fighter who liked his nickname so much he made it official. In 2008, War Machine went down to the courthouse and made a terrible decision. Alas, his career was halted after a stint as an adult film actor and two years in jail. War Machine? Looks like someone closed down the factory.

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Lloyd Bernard Free to World B. Free

Free
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

My reaction when I heard about this name change was literally, “-__- Are you for real??” World B. Free legally changed his name from Lloyd Bernard Free in 1981. The former NBA guard had all the right intentions in mind, but how about we leave the “World Peace” pleas to Miss America?


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