Basketball fans have known Ron Artest for years. Going back to his days at St. John's in the 1990s, we've all been impressed by hit high-motor rebounding and appalled by his temper.
Last night, the wider world received an introduction to Metta World Peace. Formerly known as Ron Artest, Metta debuted his new name with a flourish on Monday night in the season premiere of Dancing With The Stars.
Sporting bleached hair and a shiny vest, Artest -- or MWP -- appeared to be the largest genie this world has seen since Kazaam.
But he probably could have used a little magic to make it through this performance.
While Artest appeared to have a blast dancing away, the judges marked him down for his dance lacking "Cha Cha content" and for being "all sizzle no sausage." The forward netted a low collective score of 14, and will be in danger of being voted off the show on Tuesday night.
In his defense, we imagine doing the Cha Cha is difficult enough without having to maneuver a 6'7" 260 pound frame. But despite their large size, several athletes have delivered impressive performances on Dancing With The Stars, with Hines Ward of the Steelers actually taking home the title last season. Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith also won the contest in its third season.
Artest and ballroom dancing may seem like a bizarre combo, but anybody who knows anything about the Lakers star understands that he doesn't tend to stray towards the conventional. Touchingly, Artest revealed that he entered the contest for his 4-year-old daughter, who is a cancer survivor, with the aim of raising money for cancer research, which can give every viewer a reason to cheer him on.
By any name, this guy deserves credit for giving dancing a shot. Perhaps we'll see him take his cha cha's beneath the basket for the Lakers this coming NBA season -- if there is an NBA season.
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