There was a short period during my elementary school years when I wished my parents spelled Brian with a "y" instead of an "i." I thought it looked cooler, and if given a vote on the issue would have changed it. (I've since come around on the aesthetics of Brian with an i.) I have a neighbor who, as an adult, decided her given name simply didn't fit. It felt wrong, she believed, and wasn't her. She changed it.
As he's explained it, Ron Artest-- at long last officially Metta World Peace, having paid his outstanding debts to the DMV-- had no real problems with his name, but saw changing it as a way to send a more positive message to the world.
Sure, on its face it seems a little goofy, but by all accounts MWP kicked the idea around for a few years, and it seems to reflect an evolving and healthy perspective on his role in the world. (As opposed to a straight publicity stunt.)
Almost by definition, there is little in the world more personal than a person's name, which is why so many people today will likely look at Ron Metta and shake their head. I'll choose not to... while absolutely reserving the right to shake my head at some of the other stuff he does.
Sounds fair to me.