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David Stern tries to distance NBA from Rodman’s North Korea game as other players feel regret

Jan 7, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT

CHINA-US-NKOREA-DIPLOMACY-BASKET Getty Images

Dennis Rodman’s plan to take former NBA players to North Korea for a bit of “basketball diplomacy” to help celebrate the birthday of that nation’s dictator Kim Jong Un is not turning out like he planned.

Shocking, I know. Who could possibly have seen that coming?

Equally as shocking, David Stern tried to distance the NBA from the event while some of the players who agreed to go over there with Rodman are having second thoughts.

Stern, the NBA’s commissioner, went on CNN — the network where Rodman had his odd rant about the North Korea trip — and worked hard to distance the league from this.

“Well, the entire team is composed of former NBA players, OK, and for what I would guess is a relatively large sum of money, they have agreed to go and give a birthday present to the leader. We did not sanction this. This is not part of us. We wouldn’t do such a thing without collaborating with the U.S. State Department….

“(The other players) were blinded by the payday. I don’t know what else to say or how directly to say it. That’s all. And Charles should have known better. But he didn’t in this case. And I’m sure he’s sorry for what he’s doing.”

Charles Smith, the former Knick who sat by Rodman in an earlier CNN interview, did indeed express regret over how this entire event has gone in speaking to the Associated Press.

“What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it,” Smith told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government…

“Some of the statements and things that Dennis has said has tainted our efforts,” Smith said. “Dennis is a great guy, but how he articulates what goes on — he gets emotional and he says things that he’ll apologize for later….

“I feel a lot of remorse for the guys because we are doing something positive, but it’s a lot bigger than us. We are not naive, we understand why things are being portrayed the way they are. We can’t do anything about that; if we could, we would.”

Dennis Rodman likes attention. He’s getting it. The fact that he has a “friend” who has done some pretty inhumane things doesn’t factor into that equation for him.

I pity the other guys on the trip somewhat, but they made their bed. Smith says they were not naïve, but they may have been to the scope of the issue.

  1. aboogy123456 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Why can’t it be possible that Dennis Rodman is actually trying to do some good in the world? You say he just likes attention, well so does the media. Yea the North Korean dictator is a horrible person, but Rodman might be trying to think bigger and has said he wants to open a door between two countries. The other NBA players might actually be trying to do good and be a part of something. But here the media is, making assumptions of what other people’s motivations are, and saying it’s just because they want money or attention. disgusting

    • mpzz - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Yeah, like, it’s too bad he can’t go back in time and be best friends with Hitler and Stalin and Idi Amin. Like, it’s cool to be besties with vicious, inhuman dictators!

  2. aboogy123456 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Why can’t it be possible that Dennis Rodman is actually trying to do some good in the world?

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      The other NBA players might actually be trying to do good and be a part of helping diplomatic relations. But here are some writers, making assumptions of what other people’s motivations are, and saying it’s just because they want money or attention. ugh

    • thraiderskin - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Because basketball is how the west will build diplomatic bridges with a man like Kim Jong-un?

      • muhangis - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:41 AM

        It’s said that God works in strange ways – and the Kim dictatorship in Korea works in strange ways too. How do you say is the method to build diplomatic bridges?

        As crazy as it sounds, some crazy things word. If you think there is the same lame formula to solving these issues, then sir you are quite naive.

      • muhangis - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:42 AM

        *work, not word

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:48 AM

        yeah, like table table Tennis did with China or communists China as the American politicians labeled them, just to give it China that evil villain effect.

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        The dictator is a big fan of basketball, so maybe this is Rodman’s calling? He never said this is the one way to build diplomatic bridges, but he’s doing what he can to help. It’s sad how when we see someone like Rodman try to do good in the world, we just say ohh he’s an alcoholic looking for attention, and sit and do nothing.

      • thraiderskin - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        Idealism… the tool of the weak so that they don’t have to get their hands dirty.

    • daviddmsvcp - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      I don’t think Dennis Rodman cares about the world. I think he cares about himself, only.

      I think Dennis is getting $$ and some fine N. Korean poontang from all this.

      Mr. Rodman is in way over his head on this one. He is injecting himself into a very politically and diplomatically sensitive situation. Do any of you read international news? Do you know what is going on in North Korea?

      They may love Dennis in North Korea, but this can only hurt him at home. Let’s see how Dennis handles all this. So far as I’ve seen, he is not handling it well.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        like you wouldn’t do it for money either, does your boss
        pay you in red beans or chick peas?

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Chick peas.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        it’s like that South Park movie with the puppets only with Dennis Rodman instead of Matt Damon

    • georgesmithson - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      You can call it good intentions poorly executed, but frankly the intentions remain in question as well. This is why you strive to have qualified people do Ambassador work… Rodman is not qualified.

  3. Punk - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    I am just not understanding what the big deal is.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:52 AM

      the BIG DEAL IS Cuomo took something positive like a basketball game which could open the door with North Korea and made it a negative, this is what sports is about, negative bull-sheet.

    • tomgallagher76 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      The big deal is buddying up to head of a North Korean regime that uses what are akin to concentration camps to torture, abuse, and kill their own people. Those that are lucky enough to not be thrown in work camps (due to actual crimes, perceived crimes, or being related to someone who committed actual or perceived crimes) live in squalor.

    • georgesmithson - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:27 AM

      Don’t fret, not everyone can get it. It’s okay.

  4. provguard - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    If there’s no money, there is no Stern… There is no harm in trying to bring peace, but if it is an ego trip take a hike Rodman…

    • nyhammerhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Stern=Egomaniac and Seventh Ave Garmento $$$$$ bag man..$100 jerseys. Bs

      • 1historian - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM

        Nobody makes you buy those jerseys, nobody makes you go to the games

      • nyhammerhead - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:58 AM

        I don’t go to the games, Or buy the grossly overpriced jerseys unless Winners is blowing them out for $20 bucks new. That’s right , $20. New. And right, No one makes me do anything.. Not Odrama or his NSA Gestapo police.. No one.

      • zerole00 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Are you complaining about merchandise prices? As someone who has never bought a jersey, let me point out that it’s a system of supply and demand. They can supply $100 jerseys because enough people are demanding the jerseys, that’s on customer. What, should they just throw money out the window and charge $20 when people are willing to pay $100?

      • nyhammerhead - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:03 AM

        You’re right Lots of idiots out there with too much money and too little brains.. No one pays far too much except guys that want bragging rights, mommie boys,.people like me buy the close outs at Winners for $ 20. Got some brand new Falcon Vicks and TO Buffalo among the group. You can buy them from me on Ebay.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:55 AM

      if only Stern had thought it out he could have moved the sheet load of those ugly x-mas jerseys that no American would ever buy and sold them in North Korea.

      the nba will distance themselves because they don’t want NO problems with the Gov’t.

  5. nyhammerhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    I’d rather have Worm than “Bengahzi Clinton ” run the state Department. Dennis doesn’t do PC BS. Straight Shooter. Why the hell should he have to rescue some Bible Thumper idiot that pissed off his security guards ? No reason. Dennis will ball up and delivery the goods. Good for him. Ping pong diplomacy worked for Mao and Nixon.. give Ball a chance

    • mikeinthevine - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:36 AM

      You’re a moron.

  6. hildezero - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Ain’t Stern out of the NBA though, or what?

  7. 32stork - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Former ballplayers to celebrate a dictator’s birthday with said dictator threatening world nuclear war and starving his citizens to death while at the same time murdering a family member. All for large dollars for the ex ballplayers: greed, stupid, greed, stupid.

    • rickdday - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      well..one out of three ain’t bad.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      why don’t you go look for WMD’s in Iraq, that should keep you busy for awhile.
      and if you have time swing by Egypt and throw Mubarak under the bus while
      telling the people of Egypt to have their third revolution protest in a year.
      maybe you should google a picture of Rumsfeld shaking Saadam hand and smiling
      like he is drinking kool aid.
      by the way, maybe you can offer some legal assistance to the African/Sudanese
      refugees Israel has put in prison.

  8. 1historian - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Anyone who agrees to go to North frigging Korea with Dennis Rodman is, by definition, NOT playing with a full deck.

  9. 1historian - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Of course Stern is trying to ‘distance’ the NBA from this clown – what else do you expect him to do?

  10. gquesen - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Rodman’s a nut.

    • rickdday - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      yes… and this bothers you because….?

      • 1historian - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        I don’t think it really bothers him, rather he wanted to make sure everyone would stay focused

  11. napmitty - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Oh, boo-hoo-hoo. You regret agreeing to perform your little clown act in honor of a murderous little dictator? Here’s a thought, son: DON’T. Too much for you? Wear a t-shirt with a jang photo. No? Then kiss dictator ass, cash your check and STFU…

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/07/david-stern-tries-to-distance-nba-from-rodmans-north-korea-game-as-other-players-feel-regret/related/

  12. sdl65 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    “Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government…

    Really Charlie?? The only message your interested in is the one that tells you the money has been deposited in your bank account. You and your band of misfits are not doing anything positive but making fools of yourselves. The fact that you don’t realize that your being played is stunning. It was a very foolish choice to go there on so many different levels.

    • muhangis - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:53 AM

      Well he’s trying. What are you pu$$!es doing? Absolutely nothing. People feeling guilt over this self realization are the ones being superciliously critical.

  13. rickdday - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    *shrugs* It beats the alternative.

    This story and the comments above had me googling and reviewing old war propaganda because I was having an episode of deja vu

    I mean, come on , you chest thumping “merkinz” what is the worse that can happen here?

  14. nokoolaidcowboy - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Leave this kind of stuff to The Harlem Globetrotters. If they’re not going over there, then it’s probably not a good idea.

  15. henryd3rd - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Every time I hear the name Charles Smith I am reminded of his NY Knicks’ career. One disappointment after another. Or should I say one block shot after another by MJ, Pippen and Rodman. I guess Rodman feels he owes him one for blocking his shot so often; so he invited him on this ridiculous good well mission

  16. antistratfordian - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    Well, you know, this is nothing new – communists have been trying to position African Americans between them and the United States for decades. And, look, it does make sense on some level for both sides. Whether you like it or not, there are things that North Koreans and African Americans will be able to agree on when it comes to the United States government. They’re liable to laugh at all the same jokes! This is something that certain people probably wouldn’t grasp initially… if ever.

    I don’t really have a point, but I will say this: North Koreans aren’t the only people in the world who have been brainwashed.

    • 1historian - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      1) If you don’t like living here, and I assume you live in the USA, you can always move to North Korea as a private citizen without all the hooplah accompanying Rodman

      2) Actually you DO have a point, but if you keep your hat on maybe no one will notice

      Thanks to Ann Landers

      • antistratfordian - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Well the fantastic thing about the good ol US of A is that if you don’t like living here you can change it so you do like living here.

        But I guess my main point is that one should take a critical look at themselves before they start wagging their finger at others. A basic principle often ignored.

  17. gofinsgoheatfloria - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    Being too d**n lazy to employ one’s critical faculties when listening to the government (or to critics) when one can do so with no risk of persecution is not being “brainwashed”. The word loses its usefulness when it is stretched that far.

  18. nokoolaidcowboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    “The Worm” was a great player to watch in the NBA. Dennis Rodman is a train wreck, and always has been. The man sat in a truck outside the stadium with a shotgun once (thinking suicide, probably).

    It’s not hard to get him to break down and cry. He’s admittedly had father issues, mother issues and other personal problems that should have been addressed long ago. He even mentions Jordan in this interview and it makes no sense.

    That he thinks he is doing good trying to break down a wall in this manner is not unbelievable…that others choose to follow him over there thinking this is a good idea just isn’t right. You could get to know Dennis and feel for the guy, that’s ok. But you can’t follow him blindly.

    Rodman’s biggest problem in all this is arriving to the realization that he is a puppet for North Korea. This would devastate him.

  19. muhangis - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    What did our moms tell us growing up? Always TRY to make a difference in the world! Don’t just do everything selfishly for yourself. If his actions result into no progress at the end of the day, still I respect Rodman for what he’s doing.

    Kurt Helin is being 100% negative, pessimistic, and misanthrope as he always is. And feels that sitting on our arse will solve the situation or inhumanity. Stick to purely basketball.

  20. azarkhan - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    So Communist North Korea only gets a has-been basketball player who is best known for dressing as a woman. At least Cuba got Jay-Z and Beyonce.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      has been HOF, you big nothing khan, we should ship you to North Korea.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      has been HOF, you big nothing khan, we should ship you to North Korea.

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