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Metta World Peace: LA Lakers Nut Job Will Impress on Dancing with the Stars

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterSeptember 20, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As the great William Shakespeare might well have said, had he lived in 2011 and been a fan of Dancing With the Stars:

All the (Metta) World's a stage,
And all the men and women merely playas;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man, Ron Artest, in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven head cases.

That's certainly as Ron Artest Metta World Peace likes it. The mercurial madman for the Los Angeles Lakers will take his talents to the dance floor tonight as a contestant on ABC's beloved celebrity talent show and will steal the spotlight, as he tends to invariably do with everything in his life.

Peace's reach has already extended far beyond the basketball court. Aside from being a fan fighter and an NBA champion, Peace (it still doesn't sound right) has managed to reinvent himself several times over—as a recording artist, a TV producer, a spokesman for PETA, the face of mental health awareness in America, and even the subject of an art exhibition.

Indeed, Peace is a lovable bada--. Say what you will of his exploits while in the national spotlight, but you've got to admit that the guy is entertaining (albeit in an often times awkward and discomforting way).

Like a bigger, stronger and crazier Larry David.

As far as DWTS is concerned, Peace has as good a chance as any of coming away victorious, or at least putting up a respectable performance. In 12 previous seasons, athletes have won six times, finished runner-up four times and claimed third place twice.

And for good reason. World-class athletes like Peace have the stamina and conditioning to survive five- and six-hour days of dancing, the agility to pull off difficult maneuvers, and the footwork to tear up the floorboards.

Peace's stiffest competition figures to be Hope Solo, the gorgeous goalkeeper for the US Women's soccer team who ascended to the top of the nation's collective conscience with her brilliant performance and feisty attitude in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. Solo has the athleticism and determination to give Peace a run for his money.

If she falters, the task of stopping Peace's inevitable waltz to victory then falls, of course, to Chaz Bono.

Or Ricki Lake.

As much as you may want to malign Peace for changing his name and dancing on national TV, keep in mind that he is, above all else, an entertainer and a people pleaser (though Lakers fans would probably disagree). He may not always succeed in his myriad endeavors, but, to his credit, he always proceeds with the best of intentions.

To quote the great John (not Vladimir) Lennon, "All we are saying is give Peace a chance."

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