‘DWTS’s Ron Artest Explains His Exuberant Exit

Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd (Photo: ABC)

Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd (Photo: ABC)

It’s not often that a booted “Dancing with the Stars” contestant cheers for himself in a fit of smiley “Yeah! Yeahs!” when given the ax, but that’s exactly what Metta World Peace did Tuesday night.

Yes, we need to start really calling L.A. Laker Ron Artest by his official new name, Metta World Peace, folks. Strange, but true. The athlete explained his cheerful-but-odd exit to reporters post-show: “I didn’t want to leave that last impression on TV as sad. Peta and I had a great time, going to practice and “Dancing with the Stars,” raising some money for cancer, and you know, if we had another week we would have more fun but we didn’t have another week.”

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So what exactly happened? Well, it’s what we predicted might be the athlete’s downfall in our story last week: It was those darn hips.

“I learned exactly what I learned last season: My hips is tight. I knew that going into the season,” he said. “I knew with the scores they were right because I messed up a line during that dance – a couple of my locks and my arms and my lines. Everything was kind of messed up. Peta did awesome.”

When pressed to explain how most athletes stay much longer, yet he went home first, he explained it’s all about the footwork. “Football players,” he explained, “they do a lot of foot drills and in football they do a lot of ladders, so they’ve got four seconds to be quick. They’re supposed to be fast. Basketball players, we can rest when we want. I can take big steps in my heels and my feet and keep players on their toes, so there’s no coincidence that football players won.”

He’s leaving with a happy heart, though. “We had a blast,” he said. “I would’ve had more time to learn how to dance and learn more dances and stuff. It’s fun! I’m off the show now, but I like dancing!”

As for his comment about taking fellow contestant Nancy Grace clubbing, the offer still stands. “Maybe one day,” he laughed.

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