Dennis Rodman Returns to North Korea to Train Basketball Team

Ex NBA star Dennis Rodman, one of the few who considers North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be a good guy and a friend, returned to the secretive northeast Asian country to train a team of North Korean basketball players for a January 8th exhibition game as part of Kim’s birthday celebration that day. Rodman has assembled a group of a dozen or so American former NBA players to provide the opposition, but some of the as yet unnamed U.S. players are concerned that it’s not safe there.

Rodman understands that, but insists it’s not a problem and it’s all about a putting on a basketball game for Kim (who is a big fan of the game) and not about politics. 

Still, North Korea recently held an 85 year old American Korean War veteran who was on a tour of the country for over a month, compelling him to make apologies for his activities in the Korean War over 60 years ago, and while Rodman pals around with Korea’s supreme leader, Korean American evangelist and tour operator Kenneth Bae still in jail, sentenced to 15 years in jail for “hostile acts against the state.” The L.A. Times, referring to Rodman as the “most notable foreign dignitary to visit Pyongyang,” explains how Rodman bowed out of any possible role in helping to get Bae released, to concentrate only on basketball.

We’d guess that the American players will show up, play the game, and leave as quickly as possible.

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