After saying publicly he didn’t plan on doing Dancing with the Stars (as well as telling a lot of people around him the same thing) everything changed pretty quickly for Ron Artest.
There he was Monday night, running out on stage — he was the only one to take off his shirt while doing it — during the live “Dancing” cast reveal on ABC.
Why the change of heart? His daughter. And in her honor the money he raises being on the show will be donated to a cancer charity, he told the Los Angeles Times.
“(Artest’s 8-year-old daughter Diamond) said, ‘Daddy, you can do it,’ ” Artest recalled Monday in a phone interview. “It’s going to be fun.”
It wasn’t just a case of Artest being unable to say no to his daughter. At age 4 in 2007, Diamond was diagnosed with wilms tumor, Artest said, a kidney cancer that affects children. So in honor of his daughter successfully fighting the illness, Artest said he plans to donate the money he earns on “Dancing with the Stars” to the Cancer Research Foundation….
“That’s the only reason I’m doing it,” Artest said. “I’m doing it for a cause.”
That means at least $125,000 for the charity and more if he advances. Theoretically he could be called away from the show to go back to his day job as a Los Angeles Lakers forward if the lockout ends, but nobody seems terribly worried about that outcome.
Artest — who will officially be named Metta World Peace by the time the show airs — has said he can’t dance, but he is fearless about trying new things, about putting himself out there. Got to give him some credit for that.
August 30: 12:28 am: Apparently Ron Artest is doing Dancing with the Stars.
He had gone on twitter and on Los Angeles radio to say he was not going to do the show (just keep reading below and you will see our “he’s not going to do it” post based on what he said). But that was just Artest-style misdirection.
He appeared on the announcement show on ABC Monday night and will be ready to go. He walked out and stripped off his shirt. So, is there a bigger sign of being committed?
He has said repeatedly that he can’t dance. I guess we’ll find out very, very soon.
August 29, 9:06 pm: The rumors were out there. The offer was out there.
But Ron Artest is not going to be on Dancing with the Stars. He put it on his twitter account on Monday.
I’m working on my new single. I don’t have time to do dancing with the stars!!! Sorry.. But definitely cop my new single coming soon!!!
Artest also was on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon and said that he was offered the chance to go on Dancing with the Stars but turned it down.
His reasoning was pretty solid (as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News):
“I just can’t dance.” He also said, “They asked me, but I just didn’t feel comfortable wearing a leotard.”
Artest also wants to play for the Cheshire Jets in England, but that seems unlikely as insurance issues have gotten in the way. Artest also said he wanted to appear in some sitcoms as a guest but the timing didn’t work out.
Just a lot of things not working out for Artest this summer.
But his name change to Metta World Peace is, everything is just taking a little longer than expected.
Ron Artest is following in Mark Cuban’s footsteps. Literally.
It had been rumored that Ron Artest was in talks to take part in Dancing with the Stars this fall (although he seemed down on it), and now Charged.fm and Terez Owens is reporting that the Lakers forward — to officially become Metta World Peace by the time the show airs — will be announced as one of the participants Monday.
My source close to Ron Ron has confirmed that Artest is one of the participants on the 13th season of DWTS. The complete cast will be announced tomorrow during ABC’s “The Bachelor Pad…Artest will be dancing into our hearts and home starting Monday, September 19th.
No active NBA player has ever been on the show because the show runs during the NBA season (Mark Cuban has done it but lasted only a couple weeks). With the lockout expected to cost the season games, Artest is in — although there is a risk for the show if Artest lasts a while and David Stern and Billy Hunter figure it all out. Former athletes have fared well on the show — Emmitt Smith, Helio Castroneves and Hines Ward have all won (as have Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson).
There also have been rumors Dwyane Wade would participate, but there is no confirmation of that yet.