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September 1, 2014

Ron Artest on 'Dancing With the Stars': All About the Eccentric Basketball Player

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 30th 2011 10:45AM
Ron Artest, the eccentric L.A. Lakers forward who just signed on to Season 13 of 'Dancing With the Stars,' has had a career filled with more twists and turns than a samba routine.

Born and raised in the projects of Queens, New York, Artest played college basketball for the St. Johns University, where he gained a reputation as a defensive stopper, versatile scorer. He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th pick of the 1999 NBA Draft. Since then, he's played for the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Rockets and Lakers in 12 NBA seasons.

While playing for the Indiana Pacers in 2005, he was one of the central figures in the infamous Brawl at the Palace in Detroit. After a fight between players on the court had been broken up, a fan threw a cup of ice on Artest, who then charged into the stands and threw several punches at the fan, sparking a massive players vs. fans melee that will be remembered as one of the ugliest incidents in NBA history. For his role in the brawl, Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season.

After signing a free-agent contract with the Lakers in 2009, he played a central role in the team's 2010 NBA championship run. After the team won, he publicly thanked his psychotherapist for helping him work through his anger issues to become a better person. Since then, he has become an advocate for mental health issues, PETA, and recorded a song in support of Afghan women.

In the summer of 2011 Artest announced he would be legally changing his name to Metta World Peace, but the official change was delayed until Sept. 16 due to several outstanding traffic ticket warrants.

Check out the rest of the 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 13 cast:


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