Artest struggles through spotty Dancing with the Stars debut

Good thing for Ron Artest — or Metta World Peace — that his old coach Phil Jackson wasn’t grading his first appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Artest and partner Peta Murgatroyd were the first participants in Monday’s DWTS opener. And Artest looked more like a basketball player-turned-hoofer with a sloppy version of the cha cha cha that was of the competition.

Maybe producers of the show knew what they were getting from Artest, who sported a blond haircut with “world peace” etched into it.  He was first on the show and crowd favorite Chaz Bono received the coveted last slot at the very end of the program.

After his first night, it appears the Artest won’t have any trouble being available if and when the NBA camps open after the lockout is settled. His footwork was a lot closer to Greg Oden than Gregory Hines on the dance floor.

Artest could be available for his basketball interests by Wednesday morning — if the Lakers need him.

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