03/12/2013 AT 6:00 AM ET
Paging all Kardashians – Metta World Peace wants to join your clan!
“I love all the Kardashians and I miss [them],” the Lakers star, who’s been “buddies” with Clippers player (and former Laker) Lamar Odom since both were 10-years-old, told PEOPLE Sunday at the Lakers Casino Night presented by Pechanga Resort and OneWest Bank. “I’m gonna change my name to Metta Kardashian next year.”
At the event, which raised money for the Lakers Youth Foundation, giddy fans snapped photos with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, while Dwight Howard crashed a game of Pop-a-Shot hoops.
“He was so fun and just jumped right into a game with two young fans, playfully blocking their shots,” said an onlooker.
Bryant, who called himself a “Laker for life,” was very patient with fans who lined up to take photos with the star. “He was so friendly and great with the kids,” said a partygoer.
Modern Family stars Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland and Jesse Tyler Ferguson also rubbed elbows with their favorite players, while Cheryl Burke and Derek Hough showed off their moves in a game of Just Dance. Nearby, Gilles Marini (with his wife by his side) playfully danced with a female fan after a round at the poker tables.
“[This event] is all about the community,” Bryant told PEOPLE. “Seeing the expression on [the kids’] faces and seeing the excitement. It’s all about inspiring others to do great things.”
– Melody Chiu
— People magazine (@peoplemag) August 7, 2012