Pro basketball's Lloyd Free has changed his name to World B. Free. Boxing's middleweight champion, meanwhile, is now officially Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Free is not really sending a political message with his new name. Its origin harks back to his New York playground days, when his flashy moves won him the appellation All-World. He became just ''World'' to his teammates in Philadelphia and Golden State, his current club. Free disliked his first name, and went to court to change it to World, which appears on the back of his Warriors warmup. He dropped Lloyd, but kept his original middle initial.
As Hagler's boxing career began to take off, Marvelous Marvin made for a very catchy, alliterative sobriquet. When one ring announcer insisted on introducing him as just Marvin Hagler, the champ went to the trouble of gaining legal recognition of Marvelous as a part of his name.