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Artest to donate “Dancing” winnings to cancer charity

Aug 30, 2011, 9:46 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Artest arrives at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles Reuters

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.

  1. vstyle23 - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Yes, he’s a little different and plays to a different beat but how can you not like this guy. Go Ron or Metta or whatever you become

  2. dysraw1 - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Go Metta world Peace

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