Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman has a new BFF – Kim Jong-un. Following his visit to North Korea earlier this year, Rodman claims to have found his new calling.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” declared the former baller during an interview for the cover story of this month's Sports Illustrated. “Why it's been left to me to smooth things over, I don't know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it's the black guy's job," in reference to President Barack Obama.
The unlikely and somewhat surreal exchange began at a Globetrotters exhibition game in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this February. Now, Rodman is optimistic about America’s relationship with North Korea, implying that the intentions of his new “friend for life” are far from hostile. “People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama.”
Rodman is hopeful that his positive relationship with Jong-un will be rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize, or that he will at least be in the running for the prestigious award. “If I don’t finish top three for the next Prize, something’s seriously wrong,” Rodman told Sports Illustrated. The magazine is running its annual “Where Are They Now” feature, with Rodman’s foray into international diplomacy as the center piece.
The Miami Herald reported that the aspiring diplomat intends to return to Pyongyang this August for a holiday with Jong-un and his family. “We have no plans really, as far as what we’re going to do over there, but we’ll just hang and have some fun!” Rodman even took to Twitter in May to communicate with his new pal, asking Jong-un to "cut loose" the imprisoned American Kenneth Bae.
The Huffington Post reported that Rodman referred to the surpreme leader as a "really awesome guy." Meanwhile, NBC Sports stressed in their coverage that the story was in fact real, suspecting that readers may take Rodman's bid for the Peace Prize for a joke.
By mail.com contributor James Doughty