By Shepard Ambellas
Dennis Rodman and team stand up for international freedom using basketball as a diplomatic tool
N. KOREA (INTELLIHUB) — Likely ahead of his time, controversial sports figure, athlete and modern-day entrepreneur politician, Dennis Rodman stated in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “It’s a great idea for the world. For the world.”, pointing out that his teams visit may help to lower the diplomatic wall with N. Korean leadership.
In fact, the 10 man team has been going around North Korea doing positive press utilizing “basketball diplomacy” as a form of cultural exchange. Interestingly enough, the local media even asked the players questions like: how do you live in America?, and: what’s your lifestyle like? Opening the door for future relations between countries.
Michael Spavor, a Canadian co-organizer of Rodman’s trip, released photos showing the U.S. and Korean players bonding with linked arms in a huddle during practice Tuesday.
The Korean players suffer a distinct height disadvantage, though Rodman had to look up at one of their players, Ri Myung Hun, who stands at 7-foot-8. Ri ‘s NBA dreams in the 1990s were thwarted by the tense relations between the USA and North Korea.
Rodman insisted Tuesday that his trip can “open the door” to the isolated nation. When asked by reporters in Beijing on Monday about whether he had anything to say about Kim’s repressive rule, Rodman said it was not his concern.
“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. That’s 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that?”, Rodman stated passionately, […] “This is not about me–if I can open the door just a little bit, just a little bit”.
Cuomo reverted back to asking Dennis about Kim Jung-un’s birthday and why the games fell on that day, to further push the interview to a tipping point.
“The date of the game is the date of the game”, Rodman’s right hand man and said in a professional manner, going on to point out that many have thanked Dennis for what he is doing in Korea.
By this time Cuomo, the CNN reporter, kept prodding at Rodman, focusing on the bad to push him past his breaking point.
“Kenneth Bae did one thing […] If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? […] I would love to speak on this.”, Rodman spouted aloud.
Then the interview reached a tipping point.
“People around the world, around the world, I’m going to do one thing, you are the guy behind the mic right now [Chris Cuomo]. We are the guys here [..] we have to go back to America to take the abuse […] but guess what though, one day, one day this door is going to open”, Rodman fired out in the name of freedom.