Jan 4, 2014, 8:01 PM EST
Dennis Rodman has taken a lot of criticism for it, but he calls North Korean leader Kim Jong Un his “friend for life” and has tried what he calls “basketball diplomacy” between the two nations. The rest of us would say at this point he’s being used as a propaganda pawn, but he calls it diplomacy.
Rodman’s efforts include a planned a Jan. 8 exhibition game in honor of Kim’s birthday. The question was always what retired players Rodman could recruit to go to North Korean with him for this game.
Rodman leads a team that includes former NBA All-Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, and Vin Baker. Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith are on the team, as well….
Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said he was looking forward to the game with Rodman.
“Dennis and I are total opposites but we work very well together,” Smith said. “Dennis is one of the few people I know that doesn’t just talk but actually lives a culturally diverse life. We have traveled everywhere together so I was not surprised with his first visit to North Korea.
“Cultural exchange is about sharing. Sharing ideas and thoughts on education, culture and life.”
I’m all for using basketball (and other sports) to break down cultural barriers. I think it’s one of the important things that sports can do.
This doesn’t feel like that at all. This feels like Rodman getting used for propaganda purposes. I’m a little surprised he got all the players he did.
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