Anyone who thought Dennis Rodman’s relationship with Kim Jong-un couldn’t get any weirder got proved wrong again Monday when the former basketball star announced he would be writing a book with the 29-year-old North Korean dictator.
"I know in time Americans will see I'm just trying to help us all get along and see eye to eye through basketball, and with my friendship with Kim, I know this will happen," Rodman said at a press conference in New York after returning from North Korea, The Guardian reported.
The onetime Chicago Bull shocked the USA, and probably most of the world, when he referred to Kim as a “lifelong friend,” but now the Hall of Famer is saying he and his infamous friend with be organizing an international basketball event in North Korea to “open doors” for the country.
"That's the main reason why I'm doing this basketball game -- to open doors," Rodman said. "I don't want to talk about politics, because if I do that, it's a whole different ball game.”
According to The Guardian, the event, which will be named The Paddy Power Dennis Rodman Invitational in Pyongyang, will bring former NBA players to North Korea to play against their national team. As of now, no former basketball stars have announced they were willing to participate.
The Paddy Power is a notorious Irish betting company, which has led some to believe Rodman’s efforts are just for publicity and not to “open doors,” as he said. When Rodman was asked if he spoke to Kim about releasing Kenneth Bae, the 44-year-old Korean-American Christian missionary who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts” while traveling in the country, the former NBA star became defensive.
"That's not my job to ask about Kenneth Bae. Ask Obama about that," Rodman said according to Business Insider. "Ask Obama ... ask Hillary Clinton, ask those a--holes."
Rodman added he would have access to the dictator for a whole month so the pair could write a book together, but he reiterated at the press conference on Monday that it would have nothing to do with politics.
"I know one thing, he trusts me," Rodman said. "I'm not going to be a partition, I'm his friend."