Ron Artest may have been the first celeb to get the boot on Dancing With the Stars Tuesday, but the Los Angeles Lakers player now known as Metta World Peace is taking his elimination in stride.
Admitting to Us Weekly that he was "disappointed" following his exit, Artest says he put on a happy face and remained in high spirits for the benefit of his fans.
"I didn't want to leave a bad impression on TV [and be] upset and sad," Artest, 31, told Us after he whooped it up even after getting the boot. "[Partner] Peta [Murgatroyd] and I had a great time. Going to practice for Dancing With the Stars and raising some money for cancer was great."
Murgatroyd — one of this season's new DWTS pros — wishes the pair could have stuck around just one more week so fans could have seen Artest perform the quickstep.
"We really wanted to do the quick step and show how much he improved," Murgatroyd says. "You can't really show much in one week; it's hard."
Though he didn't walk away with the coveted Mirror Ball trophy, Artest tells Us he picked up some new basketball skills during his short DWTS stint.
"I do sense a difference on the basketball court ever since I started working with Peta," the L.A. Laker says. "I play basketball now and my feet feel a little lighter and my hips feel a little better, so I got nothing but happiness about this whole situation. I'm off the show, but now I like dancing!"
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