updated 09/21/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/21/2011 AT 10:00 AM ET
Metta World Peace, the NBA star formerly known as Ron Artest, isn’t happy to be this season’s first contestant sent home from Dancing with the Stars, but the L.A. Laker admits that he didn’t take things in the ballroom as seriously as he does on the basketball court.
“I was having a great time and I was looking forward to learning a few dances, but I wish I would have put in a little more effort,” he told PEOPLE backstage after Tuesday night’s elimination. “Years ago when I saw Dancing with the Stars, I didn’t think I could ever do the show. And now that I’m here, I’m like, ‘I wish I would have tried a little harder.’ ”
World Peace, 31, scored only 14 points for his premiere night cha cha. “I really didn’t know how much fun this was going to be,” he said. “I didn’t know that I would actually want to make an effort to win.”