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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 08/30/2011

Ron Artest, Hope Solo to compete on Dancing With the Stars Season 13


Ron Artest (top left) will debut his dancing shoes for season 13 of Dancing With the Stars, which premieres on Sept. 19, three days after the Los Angeles Lakers star is scheduled to have his name legally changed to Metta World Peace. (Adam Taylor - AP)
Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner, Hines Ward, Rick Fox, Michael Irvin, Chad Ochocinco, Kristi Yamaguchi, Warren Sapp, Apolo Anton Ohno, Shawn Johnson.

Athletes have long been a fixture on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”, so it’s no surprise to see another high-profile sports name among the cast selections for season 13 of the uber popular primetime show.

What might come as a surprise is the news that Ron Artest is one of those names.

The mercurial Los Angeles Lakers guard is doing his darndest to build up his personal brand — from producing albums to rapping in music videos, to attempting to change his name to Metta World Peace — and starring on a show with an avid fanbase of more than 20 million certainly won’t hurt his efforts.

Unless he falls on his face and is the first contestant booted off cha-cha island, that is.

U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo will also join the cast this fall, along with loud-mouthed legal commentator Nancy Grace, actor David Arquette and former talk show host Ricki Lake. Check out Emily Yahr’s post on The TV Column for the full cast list.

Now the key question is whether Artest will still be Ron Ron when the show debuts on Sept. 19, or if the Los Angeles court system will grant his request to legally change his name to Metta World Peace when he returns to court on Sept. 16.

The timing — assuming there are no more unpaid traffic ticket skeletons in Artest’s closet — could not be more perfect.

Can’t you just hear Bruno now?

“I like your effort, Metta, but I need to see more hips. You’ve got to shake it, Metta! Shake your moneymaker!”

By  |  10:10 AM ET, 08/30/2011

 
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