"I really didn't know how much fun this was going to be," says the Laker formerly known as Ron Artest
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

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.”

World Peace isn’t the only one bummed out about the early elimination. His partner, Peta Murgatroyd, was dancing in her first season of the ballroom competition.

“It kind of sucks,” Murgatroyd says. “It is what it is, and you can’t change it.”

Despite the early loss, the pro dancer has nothing but love for recently renamed partner.

“It was great working together,” Murgatroyd said. “We had a great relationship and it was really fun working in the studio. Everyday was great.”