*We can thank 8-year-old Diamond Artest for the inclusion of her dad Ron Artest on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” which revealed its new cast Monday in Los Angeles.
“At first it was not appealing,” the Los Angeles Lakers star told People.com. “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 papa, currently sidelined by an NBA lockout, admittedly is a sucker for his little girl, who battled cancer when she was 4.
“I had a chance to play basketball overseas and I had a chance to do ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” says Artest. “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 floor 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.”
Artest’s wife, Kimsha, debuted this week on VH1’s “Basketball Wives: LA.”