Bulls’ basketball legend, Dennis Rodman recently traveled to North Korea. While there, he bonded with controversial dictator, Kim Jong-Un. Many people found this quite odd considering Jong-Un has threatened to start a nuclear war with America. During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Rodman said Jong-Un wants President Obama to “call him” to sort out their differences. Rodman vowed to return to North Korea to work on diplomacy. After the much talked about ABC interview, many news analysts called Rodman’s behavior “reckless” and feared his visit could incite some unwanted drama between the President and Jong-Un. Throughout most of the interview, Rodman seemed cocky but lacked depth while discussing Jong-Un and his dictatorship. He then bragged about sharing a few drinks and laughs with the man who has threatened the welfare of the U.S. Known for his antics on and off the court, the Bulls hall of famer found himself in the midst of controversy yet again.
The sport and piercing icon went on to say that Jong-Un is his “friend” and called the starvation of civilians in prisons camps “politics.” David Stern, the NBA Commissioner, lent his stature and credibility to the matter, saying, “I think it’s ridiculous. I think that if you’re going to meet someone with the record on human rights, and nuclear testing in a reckless way, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, and exporting a horrible brand of whatever it is that he’s exporting, starving his people, and locking them up, it should be done only in conjunction with the State Department with an agenda. If not, you shouldn’t go.”
Rodman’s road trip to North Korea is hardly expected to alter America’s relationship with Jong-Un. Rodman, who is better known as “The Worm”, lacks the tools – not to mention the credentials – of a diplomat. The entire entertaining debacle is almost certainly another ploy for attention, but Rodman’s heart is probably in the right place. President Obama has compassionately deferred to the ridiculousness of the adventure by not commenting on it, which for all intents and purposes is doing Rodman a favor. It stands somewhat to reason, after all, that Jong-Un is unlikely to alter his family’s multigenerational stance on the total nuclear destruction of America just because he’s “friends” with the greatest rebounder of all time.
Rodman has, somewhat inexplicably, been the target of serious critical attention for his efforts, with all manner of otherwise respectable people and media outlets providing commentary. While the history and geopolitical reality of the Koreas and the proximate role, responsibility and interests of the U.S. are the stuff of absolute seriousness, Rodman’s antics simply are not. From an evolutionary standpoint, we have met The Worm on his level.
But miracles do occur, and if there’s a marriage in the future of the Koreas, one thing’s for sure: Dennis already has the dress.