"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.
"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!"