HoopsHype Ron Artest rumors

September 1, 2011 Updates
August 30, 2011 Updates

The future Metta World Peace, currently known as NBA star Ron Artest, is gearing up to don spandex and mambo arms when the Lakers forward competes on “Dancing with the Stars,” but he isn’t sure that’s going to help him survive on the show. “I think Hope’s got it,” he told Access Hollywood Live’s Kit Hoover on Monday night, following the cast announcement, referring to U.S.A. soccer star Hope Solo. “She’s gonna win. I don’t have a chance.” Access Hollywood

Concerns over his poor dance moves and mobility quickly evaporated for Ron Artest as soon as he talked with his 8-year-old daughter Diamond. She's the only one who the Lakers forward said could convince him to appear on "Dancing With the Stars." "She said, 'Daddy, you can do it,' " Artest recalled Monday in a phone interview. "It's going to be fun." Los Angeles Times

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 will include the $125,000 Artest said he's making for appearing on the show beginning Sept. 19 and any additional money he earns should he advance in each round. "That's the only reason I'm doing it," Artest said. "I'm doing it for a cause." Los Angeles Times

August 29, 2011 Updates

However, it remains unclear if Artest can add an appearance on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" to his list of unique off-court ventures. Various Internet reports suggested he will be named Monday as part of the cast for the show's 13th season, but Artest's publicist, Courtney Barnes, expressed doubt about that possibility in numerous text messages. "I know nothing about him appearing on DWTS," Barnes wrote in one message. In a separate text, Barnes also joked about Artest: "He can't dance." Los Angeles Times

August 28, 2011 Updates

Artest said he is going to sign with the Cheshire Jets in Great Britain, but will decide by Nov. 22 whether to join the club if the lockout continues. Artest said he has been offered more money to play with more highly regarded teams overseas but he likes the small arenas and laid-back atmosphere in Britain. Boston Globe

Exactly how, he isn’t quite sure. But perhaps the drastic name alteration will foster nonviolence. His explanation isn’t clear as to why 10 years into his career he would take World B. Free’s idea a step further. But then again, nothing Artest does makes sense on a practical level. “It’s just about love, world peace, everybody can relate to that,’’ he said. “Whether it’s in the same community or same state or same country, or whether it’s country to country going to war, it’s just like world peace, you know what I mean? And kids need to know that and they know it now.’’ Artest is a complex man who has no issue baring his soul and his bizarreness in a public manner. While his cohorts are pursuing contracts with European teams in Turkey, Italy, and Spain, Artest is seeking a contract in London, not exactly a hotbed for international basketball. Last year with the Lakers, Artest returned to the No. 15 uniform number he wore at St. John’s and as a Bulls rookie, but he apparently couldn’t stand the idea of normalcy and will change to 70 - the ninth number adjustment of his career. Boston Globe

Asked about last season, he said, “I thought it was good, man. We had a chance to go to the Finals four times in a row and came up short, but overall I thought it was all right. Phil never made the Finals four times in a row, only three times, so [losing before the Finals] was nothing new. “We were motivated last year, I just think we lost. I think we lost fair and square, no excuses. The only thing I can say is the Lakers were probably a little tired. We thought we would win but Dallas just came and they brung it, they just brung it.’’ Boston Globe

August 27, 2011 Updates

Ron Artest's well-publicized plan to change his name ran into the legal equivalent of a red light Friday. His petition to legally change his name from Ronald William Artest Jr. to Metta World Peace was delayed by a Los Angeles court commissioner because of some outstanding traffic warrants. The Lakers forward wasn't in court Friday. But Artest gets another opportunity to swap names at a Sept. 16 court date — provided he takes care of his tickets. Artest's publicist, Courtney Barnes, said his client has "two moving violations … they will be paid so that his name can be changed." Los Angeles Times

August 26, 2011 Updates

Ron Artest's bid to become Metta World Peace has been delayed. A Los Angeles court commissioner delayed ruling on a name-change petition by the Lakers forward until Sept. 16. Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez says the court cited Artest's outstanding traffic warrants as the reason for the delay. Additional information was not immediately available. Artest did not go to court Friday and his attorney, Jill Rubin, declined to comment after hearing of the judge's decision. ESPN.com

Artest said he remains interested in playing for the Cheshire Jets of the Britain Basketball League, but won’t make an official decision until after Nov. 22, provided the lockout hasn’t ended. Artest’s agent recently told the Los Angeles Times that the Jets have yet to offer Artest insurance to play. “I’m definitely going if I’m not playing [in the NBA],” Artest said. “…It’s pro basketball. It’s going to be fun. Small gym – I want to go somewhere nice and small. I’ve had other opportunities to make more money in other places, but I want to play in a small area.” Yahoo! Sports

Along with his name change, Artest also said he plans to switch his jersey number to 70 next season. “You can call me Ron today and then it’s over. It’s a wrap,” Artest said. “It’s about love, world peace. Everybody can relate to that, whether it’s in the same community or the same state or the same country or whether it’s a country going to war. “It’s about world peace. You know what I mean? The kids need to know that, and they know that now.” Yahoo! Sports

Marc J. Spears: Along with his name officially changing to Metta World Peace tomorrow, Ron Artest says he's also changing @lakers jersey # to 70 next season Twitter

August 24, 2011 Updates

It's possible Ron Artest may not bring [Metta] World Peace to England after all. Though Artest declared his intention to The Times two weeks ago that he's "definitely going to play" for the British Basketball League's Cheshire Jets, his agent, David Bauman, said the team hasn't offered Artest insurance, which poses a "major problem" and would prevent the Lakers forward from joining the team. "It’s still on the table," Bauman said Tuesday in a phone interview. "But again, this insurance thing is a significant and a serious obstacle for any of the NBA players." Los Angeles Times

Bauman, who had said as early as late June that Artest would need insurance before accepting an overseas offer, was asked whether he had informed Artest about his concerns as Artest publicly expressed enthusiasm for playing in the U.K. "I think you can conclude that," Bauman said. "Obviously, my advice was not to do it." Los Angeles Times

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