It's official. What started as what seemed like a joke back in June, before turning into an excuse for a litany of terrible puns (your humbled narrator working as a notable beneficiary of such), then turning into an excuse for Orange County to collect on a series of parking tickets while he influenced his family has ended up where the former Ron Artest has long hoped it would.
Starting Friday, Ron Artest will officially be known as "Metta World Peace." Meet Metta World Peace, everybody.
As a result, Lakers jerseys with "World Peace" printed on the back will likely fly off the shelves, which in turn could shift the balance of the NBA's Basketball Related Income, which could influence both the owners and their locked-out players to come to a suitable compromise as they negotiate ways to split their substantial revenue-filled pie. This in turn could lead to the 2011-12 NBA season to start on time, handing back the livelihood to thousands of workers across two countries that bank on at least 82 games in an NBA season to put food on their respective tables.
And, as the World Peace butterfly keeps flapping its wings, this could lead to a potential future tyrannical despot, a malicious potential bellicose leader of armies, to watch a Celtics/Lakers game on basic cable on a Thursday night instead of ignoring his homework to research the lives of various dictators and mass murderers on Wikipedia. Distracted, he or she will then turn to an orthodox life of quiet desperation and basketball fandom, rather than fulfilling what was otherwise an unavoidable fate that would lead to the start of World War III.
As you can see, the influence of Metta World Peace will never be overstated. We are a better planet for his presence.