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Sometimes professional athletes lover their nicknames so much, they legally change their given names. Here are 11 examples.
- Chad Ochocinco. He was born Chad Johnson, but he changed his name to Chad Ochocinco in 2008, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Ochocinco is his number 85, but, if we’re nitpicking, it should be ”ochenta y cinco.”
- Metta World Peace. Ron Artest legally changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011. “Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,’ said Mr. Peace.’
- World B. Free. In 1980, Lloyd B. Free changed his name to World B. Free because his nickname was “all-world.”
- Muhammad Ali. Cassius Clay converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Before that, he also went by Cassius X.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After he won his first NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which means “generous servant of the mighty one.”
- Mark Super Duper. Former-NFL wide receiver Mark Duper legally changed his name to Mark Super Duper in 1985. ”I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to be Mr. Big,” said Mr. Super Duper.
- Marvelous Marvin Hagler. In 1982, Marvin Hagler legally added the first name Marvelous, so every time a journalist would write about him, they’d have to write “Marvelous Marvin Hagler.”
- Maurice Jones-Drew. Born Maurice Jones, the running back changed his name to Maurice Jones-Drew to honor his grandfather, Drew.
- J.R. Sakuragi. J.R. Henderson changed his name to J.R. Sakuragi when he went to play professional basketball in Japan. He also wanted to be on the Japanese National Team, but they wouldn’t allow him, unless he had a Japanese name, so he changed it.
- Rudi Galindo. Rudy Galindo changed his name to Rudi with an “i” in honor of his figure skating partner Kristi Yamaguchi. The pair won the national title in 1989 and 1990.
- Tiger Woods. Technically Tiger Woods didn’t legally change his name, but his birth name is Eldrick Tont Woods.