Things got pretty wild on CNN when CNN’s Chris Cuomo pissed off Dennis Rodman by asking him questions about US citizen Kenneth Bae who is being held captive in North Korea. Rodman rambled and roared and showed he had no idea what he was talking about before Charles Smith came in and saved The Worm by saying they weren’t there for “political aspects.”
Charles Smith! Yes, ex Knick Charles Smith wass there. So was Clifford Robinson and Vin Baker! If you are familiar with the streetball world then you might have recognized dunk phenom Guy Dupuy and 8th Wonder behind Rodman too.
Although Smith tried to be supportive during the interview, he was pretty upset about Rodman’s Wrestling persona and the political questions.
“What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it,” Smith told The Associated Press. “Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government.”
“Some of the statements and things that Dennis has said has tainted our efforts,” Smith said. “Dennis is a great guy, but how he articulates what goes on — he gets emotional and he says things that he’ll apologize for later.”
The players mentioned as well as former players Doug Christie, Kenny Anderson and Sleepy Floyd are there to play in an exhibition game against a Korean team on Wednesday for Kim Jong un’s birthday.
David Stern released a statement stating that the he and the NBA have zero involvement with the ex NBA player’s Korean adventure.
“The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodman’s North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department,” Stern said. “Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them.”
The NBRPA did the same.
“While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate by our board of directors, it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association) and is not supported by our organization in any way,” said NBRPA chairman of the board Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star. “Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances. Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not condone the basketball activities to be conducted in North Korea this week.”
Charles Smith also said he feels bad for Dennis and the players. I personally don’t feel bad for Dennis but as a personal friend of the guy behind Rodman named Guy Dupuy I can tell you that I feel worse for him than I felt for Charles Smith during the the 1993 NBA playoffs (Bulls and Knicks fans should remember the moment I’m talking about pretty well).