Because of the NBA lockout, Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest knew he needed something to occupy his time.
“At first it was not appealing,” Artest confesses. “I did not want to do it. I don’t dance and all of the dressing up and everything, but my daughter Diamond was like, Daddy, you should do it.”
Proud father Artest, 31, admittedly is a sucker for his 8-year-old daughter, who battled cancer when she was 4.
“I had a chance to play basketball overseas and I had a chance to doDancing with the Stars,” Artest says. “She asked me to do it, and I thought I could dance and raise some money for cancer research. I’m going to donate the profits.”
Despite the fact that he might not play basketball this year, Artest says he is grateful for the opportunity to show what he can do on the ballroom’s shiny hardwood floors once Dancing‘s new season kicks off Monday, Sept. 19, on ABC
“I have a lot of entertaining things to come,” he says.
And if the NBA lockout is resolved while he’s still on the show? “I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
BY MONICA RIZZO