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Dancing With The Stars

5 Things You Need to Know About DWTS’ Ron Artest

You may have read our bios for the cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 13, but there’s a lot more to learn about the 12 celebs. So here are five interesting tidbits about Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta WorldPeace, er, Ron Artest.

1. He’s a championship flirt
Ron, a father of four, has been divorced from his ex-wife Kimsha since 2009. Not sure if he has a special lady friend outside the ballroom, but he definitely seems to have an eye for the beauties of DWTS. During the cast announcement on Monday night, Team USA goalie Hope Solo said she wanted to go on the show to call attention back to women’s soccer. Ron piped up that Hope is so hot, she’s already calling attention back to women’s soccer just by being there. Also, Ron told On the Red Carpet he thinks his pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd, is “awesome and hot and spicy” and he might give her a big kiss on TV. Get ready, Peta!

2. He wants to wear heels on the dance floor
You’d think a guy with enough game to rip his shirt off on live TV would be confident in his ballroom abilities, but that’s not the case. “I have no rhythm. My hips are horrible.” He’s 6-feet 7-inches tall and wears a size 16 shoe, but told On the Red Carpet he wants to wear heels like Prince. Those would have to be some pricey custom-made stilettos! Peta probably doesn’t like that idea, especially since he admitted he’s already stepped on her toes in rehearsals. Ouch.

3. He loves animals ... but it's complicated
It's fitting that he was paired with a pro partner named Peta since Ron has been active with PETA, a.k.a. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In 2007 he posed for PETA's Animal Birth Control campaign and told fans to "have the balls to spay or neuter your dog." In an interview with PETA, Ron offered advice to fellow animal lovers. "You can volunteer your time … just by going to walk the doggies [at your local animal shelter], 'cause they're just happy to be around someone to touch them." However, he was involved in a controversy in 2007 when there was suspicion that a dog in his home — a female Great Dane named Socks — wasn't being fed enough. Socks was examined by a vet and it was shown that she had a bone infection in a leg that contributed to her weight loss and lack of appetite. Ron wasn't charged with any crime but he agreed to allow Socks to be adopted by a new owner.

4. He is (or was) developing his own reality TV show
In April 2010, it was announced that Ron was developing and producing a reality series about his life called They Call Me Crazy. The show was meant to “make amends for past transgressions” — like assaulting a fan during the Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004? — and help new musicians through his music label, Tru Warier. No idea what the status of this project is, but if it's still somehow in the works, DWTS should help it move along.

5. He raffled of his NBA championship ring for mental health services
Last fall, Ron decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring, with the proceeds going to Xcel University, the non-profit he formed to organize and streamline his charitable contributions and community endeavors. Funds raised through the ring raffle were earmarked for non-profits that provide mental health therapists and mental health services to those who wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford them. Ron is active in many other charities and has already said he'll donate his DWTS profits to cancer research in honor of his daughter, now 8, who battled cancer when she was 4.