Dennis Rodman Won't Go Back To North Korea, So His Days Of 'Basketball Diplomacy' Are Thankfully Over
Kim Jong-un just lost a friend: On Monday, former NBA star turned "basketball diplomat" Dennis Rodman said he'd never go back to North Korea. Probably. "I don’t want people to look at me as the devil or evil person,” Rodman told ESPN. “If I put anyone in harm’s way, I apologize, you know. If you don’t want me to go back there ever again, I won’t go back."
Nobody in the Western hemisphere wants Rodman to go back to North Korea, so we guess that's settled.
The remarks come a few months after Rodman drunkenly defended Kim Jong Un on Sky News, and brushed away questions from CNN's Chris Cuomo about Kenneth Bae. Bae, of course, is the American citizen who was sentenced last April to 15 years' worth of manual labor and prison in North Korea. When asked about Bae at previous press conferences, Rodman helpfully directed press to Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for answers. "Ask those assholes," he demanded.
Rodman has long come under fire for befriending Kim Jong Un, including celebrating his birthday, amidst reports of horrific human-rights abuses in North Korea. Last month, the UN released harrowing reports detailing North Korea's torture and horrific prison camps, so the terrible PR Rodman had brought upon himself may have finally reached a tipping point.
That said, he still has hope for Kim Jong Un:
It’s so intriguing to hear him talk about sports. I said, ‘Wow, this guy, he’s moving toward the 21st century. And I’m thinking in my heart that’s gonna open for everybody. That’s what I’m hoping, that’s what I’m looking for long term, it does open. I know truly in my heart something’s gonna happen. If it happens, watch all these people kiss my ass.
We can't help but remember what Anderson Cooper had to say two months ago.
Well, so long to "basketball diplomacy." It was fun while it lasted. (OK, it wasn't.)