Charles Smith RumorsAll NBA Players
As Dennis Rodman continued his controversial “basketball diplomacy” inside North Korea Friday, his U.S. teammates at an exhibition game Wednesday flew out of Pyongyang praising their trip and declaring “mission accomplished”. “On behalf of all the players that went on the trip, it’s probably best to say that we set out on a mission to use basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange and we accomplished that mission,” said Charles Smith at Beijing airport Friday.
Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said the North Korea trip has been dwarfed by politics and Rodman’s frequent boasts about his close friendship with Kim. “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.”
Former NBA star Charles D. Smith says he feels remorse for coming to Pyongyang with Dennis Rodman for a game on the North Korean leader’s birthday because the event has been dwarfed by politics and tainted by Rodman’s own comments. Smith and other former NBA players are scheduled to play with Rodman against a team of North Koreans in a game on Wednesday that organizers say leader Kim Jong Un is expected to attend. Many of the players on Tuesday privately expressed second thoughts about going ahead because of an outpouring of criticism in the United States.
NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter utilized union funds to support former NBA forward Charles Smith’s attempt to overthrow the National Basketball Retired Players Association, sources say, one of several maneuvers that inspired union president Derek Fisher to call for a business review of the union’s activity. The players’ union is currently being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, sources have confirmed.
Several months later, as Smith fought to win back his position, the NBPA’s late lead counsel, Gary Hall, told a retired players’ association representative that the NBPA was in full support of Smith, would pay his legal fees and play “the race card,” if necessary, sources said. Smith is black and Danny Schayes, selected to replace him, is white. Hall’s comments were made, sources added, with Hunter present.
The players’ union is currently being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, sources have confirmed. Recent reports by both Yahoo! Sports and Bloomberg News detailed a number of other expenditures and hirings made by Hunter without executive committee oversight. The financial support of Smith is another one, sources said.