The dream of "basketball diplomacy" appears to be taking its toll. Former NBA player and part-time peacock Dennis Rodman apologized for his outburst against CNN's Chris Cuomo when asked about Kenneth Bae, an American held hostage in North Korea since 2012. Rodman issued an apology to the Bae family for his statements in the interview, which seemed to implicate that Bae got what he deserved. Since becoming chummy with hoops-loving North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un after VICE united them last year, Rodman was in the country for a basketball game between American and North Korean players, where he sang "Happy Birthday" to Kim. You know, the same Kim Jong-Un who reportedly had his uncle eaten by dogs.
So what caused the outburst? Rodman is STRESSED about being the self-appointed ambassador to North Korea, guys. Also, alcohol.
"Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates," he said, adding that his dream of "basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart."
"I had been drinking," he said. "It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed."
In the video, Rodman, who is flanked by members of his basketball squad like a more bizarre version of The Pick-Up Artist, holds a cigar and points aggressively at Cuomo as he slurs his words. The basketball players Rodman brought faced off against Kim's squad in an exhibition game on Wednesday in Pyongyang. They tried to calm down Rodman during the interview, but to no avail.
"Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country?" Rodman shouted at Cuomo. "You know, you’ve got 10 guys here — 10 guys here — they’ve left their families, they’ve left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture! ... We have to go back to America and take the abuse."
The Bae family was shocked by Rodman's statements. They say that Bae was simply running a tour company in North Korea but didn't fully understand the rules. Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges of "hostile acts" against the country.
"He was in a position to do some good and to help advocate for Kenneth," Bae's sister, Terri Chung, said Tuesday. "He refused to do so. But then instead he has chosen to hurl these outrageous accusations against Kenneth. He clearly doesn't know anything about Kenneth, about his case. And so we were appalled by that."
Interested in the game's outcome? The Americans lost to the North Koreans, 47-39 (of course). Not very impressive scores, guys. In a second game, both Americans and North Koreans were mixed into the two teams.
What could solve this bro-tastrophy? Hug it out.