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Ex-NBA players slam Dennis Rodman's North Korea stunt

Circus: Former basketball star Dennis Rodman arrives in Pyongyang.

Circus: Former basketball star Dennis Rodman arrives in Pyongyang. Photo: Reuters

A group of retired NBA players has denounced Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea, saying the game he is organising there will not bring cultures together.

Rodman is a former NBA superstar known more for his tattoos, body piercings, dyed hair and over-the-top lifestyle as his on-court feats.

He has assembled a team of former NBA players for an exhibition game in Pyongyang on Wednesday against North Korea to mark leader Kim Jong-Un's 31st birthday.

"Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances," said Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star and chairman of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, on Tuesday.

"Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not condone the basketball activities to be conducted in North Korea this week."

Rodman made his first of four visits to the Communist state last February and calls Kim, reportedly a NBA fan of Rodman's championship days with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, a friend for life.

Rodman, nicknamed "The Worm", has dated singer Madonna and was once married to actress Carmen Electra.

Among the former players who joined Rodman for the game in North Korea are Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker, Cliff Robinson, Doug Christie, Craig Hodges and Charles Smith.

"While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate by our board of directors, it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA and is not supported by our organisation in any way," Birdsong said.


14 comments so far

  • Dennis Rodman's America

    "free and greedy"

    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 8:11AM
    • Can Dennis the Menace and his morons play a charity game at the labour camps where some hundreds of thousands of political prisoners suffer starvation, forced abortions, torture and executions to show them just how wonderful Dear Leader is? Right now Kim Jongun has his ropes on Rodman's noserings and is laughing his head off at the propaganda coup he's scored!!

      Useful idiots
      Date and time
      January 12, 2014, 6:28AM
  • Does the word Cess-pool come to mind? perhaps Scum-Bag?

    That is what Rodman is all about

    San Jose, california
    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 9:39AM
    • I disagree. It is just a game of basketball.

      What harm can come from it?

      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 1:11PM
  • Scumbag?

    Rightly or wrongly, Rodman has done more in a year for western relations with North Korea than any politicians have done in decades.

    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 10:19AM
    • Yea, I agree, good to see him having a dab at diplomacy...

      At least he is helping improve the 'imperialist' image every North Korean has of the US people.

      Let's wait n see what happens afterwards.

      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 10:53AM
    • So what exactly has he done for Western relations with North Korea? Apart from condoning the corruption and other atrocities perpertrated by his "good friend" and DICTATOR Kim Jong-Un and his Father, tell us all what good he has done? Any of the "commentators" here who seem to think "some good" will come out of this are deluding themselves.

      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 3:16PM
    • There was an article in the Economist last year about inappropriate gifts to world leaders. Like cowboy boots for the Queen.

      Anyway, several leaders have given gifts to the North Koreans & they have used them for propaganda purposes. They are stored in a museum.

      However, the West Germans had the best idea. The previous leader was presented with a piece of the Berlin Wall.

      Mr Irony
      Out There
      Date and time
      January 10, 2014, 11:30AM
  • Rodman getting into bed with this despot is really selling his soul to the devil.

    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Hats off to Rodman. Sometimes you need to get your hands dirty or even swim through a 'cess-pool' for the greater good. If Rodman's presence and friendship influences just one decision of Kim Jong-un's for the betterment of the North Korean people then it would all have been worth it. Kim Jong-un is 31 so he can still be influenced one way or another by people close to. Teach Kim Jong-un that engaging the international community can be beneficial. I just wish the do-gooders would get off their soap boxes, take their heads out of the clouds and face the harsh realities of the world. Look at every possible way the problem that is North Korea can be solved.

      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 1:08PM

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