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Ron Artest rehearses for 'Dancing With the Stars'

September 14, 2011 |  8:00 am

Ron Artest

*We're going to have a live chat at 4 p.m. Bring your questions!

Two years passed and Lakers forward Ron Artest still doesn't fully understand the triangle offense.

So it'd only be natural to assume the learning curve to master a dance routine for his Monday debut on "Dancing With the Stars" could prove just as difficult. Artest and his publicist Courtney Barnes have both admitted he can't dance. Artest has said his often follows Fat Joe's to "Lean Back" when he's out at night. Artest also once joked he doesn't have enough flexible hips to pull off a legitimate move.

Yet, an ESPN's interview aired Tuesday night on "SportsCenter" showed Artest and partner Peta Murgatroyd looking decent during a recent rehearsal.

"I was a big fan of Michael Jackson when I was young," Artest said. "But now it's ballroom dancing and cha cha."

Whether that proves enough to beat Rob Kardashian and company remains to be seen. Murgatroyd credited Artest's 6-7, 260-pound muscular frame as a plus, but that his footwork still could use improvement. That's OK. He's still working in that department on the basketball court. But Artest promised to come through just like he did in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, acting nonchalant over any looming pressure. After all, football stars Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward represented the sports world well by winning in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

"I do have some big shoes, but they don't wear my size anyway," Artest said of Smith and Ward. "I have a Size 16. They wear a Size 12 or 11. It should be pretty easy to fill their shoes and I'll have some left over."


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-- Mark Medina

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Photo: "Dancing with the Stars" introduced the latest cast of wannabe dancers this week. HLN's "Tot Mom" host Nancy Grace and Sonny and Cher's daughter-turned-son Chaz Bono got the most buzz. Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest, actor David Arquette, soap star and Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez, TV personalities Rob Kardashian, Ricki Lake and Kristin Cavallari, singer Chynna Phillips, soccer player Hope Solo and George Clooney's ex Elisabetta Canalis round out the lineup. Credit: Adam Taylor / Associated Press