(AP) APNewsbreak: Rodman names team for exhibition
By DAN GELSTON
Dennis Rodman has named a team of former NBA players to participate in an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang, North Korea.
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. They will play against a top North Korean Senior National team on Jan. 8, marking Kim Jong Un’s birthday.
Rodman is the highest profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father in late 2011.
Rodman calls the game his version of “basketball diplomacy.”
Rodman made his latest visit to North Korea shortly before Christmas to train the North Korean basketball team, though he did not meet with Kim. Rodman, known as much for his piercings, tattoos and bad behavior as he was for basketball, traveled to the secretive state for the first time last February with the Harlem Globetrotters for an HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television. Rodman has called Kim a “friend for life.”
Rodman said his trips would not be affected by the recent execution of Kim’s uncle.
Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said he was looking forward to the game with Rodman.
Rodman has been criticized for not talking about North Korea’s human rights record, described as one of the world’s worst by activists, the U.S. State Department and North Korean defectors. The defectors have repeatedly testified about the government’s alleged use of indiscriminate killings, rapes, beatings and prison camps holding as many as 120,000 people deemed opponents of authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, the third generation of his family to rule.