HoopsHype Dennis Rodman rumors

December 21, 2013 Updates
December 19, 2013 Updates

The growing basketball collaboration between Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, can be traced back to an Irish online betting company and the pope. Mr. Rodman, the former N.B.A. star who arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday to tutor North Korea’s best basketball players at Mr. Kim’s behest, is doing so under the sponsorship of Paddy Power, Europe’s leading Internet gambling business. The four-day trip comes after a deadly purge by Mr. Kim that has raised worries of a dangerous power struggle in the nuclear-armed and often unpredictable country. New York Times

During their pope collaboration, Mr. Scott said, Mr. Rodman and Paddy Power executives devised the idea of setting up an international basketball tournament involving North Korea’s national team. Months later, when Mr. Rodman visited Mr. Kim a second time, the North Korean leader, an avowed basketball enthusiast, embraced the idea. He said they should hold the tournament in Pyongyang on his 31st birthday, Jan. 8. “So it all started when the pope resigned,” Mr. Scott said, speaking from Beijing as he was preparing to accompany Mr. Rodman to Pyongyang. “That had everything to do with it.” New York Times

He remains the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011. "I've come over to see my friend, and people always give me a little hard time about me saying that,'' said Rodman, who was given the red carpet treatment at the airport by Vice Sports Minister Son Kwang Ho and O Hun Ryong, secretary-general of the North Korean Basketball Association. "I'm very proud to say he's my friend, because he hasn't done anything to put a damper, to say any negative things about my country.'' ESPN.com

December 17, 2013 Updates

Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time on Thursday, despite political tension surrounding the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, trip organizers said. "It's certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now -- a bit of trouble or chaos -- there's even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges," said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, which has arranged the trip. Toronto Sun

December 13, 2013 Updates

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman plans to travel to North Korea next week to train its basketball team, a trip unaffected by the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle. Jang Song Thaek's execution, announced early Friday in Pyongyang, marked an unprecedented fall from grace of one of the most powerful figures in the country as well as its most serious political upheaval in decades. Jang was North Korea's No. 2 official — behind only Kim. Rodman considers Kim a close friend and has a long-scheduled trip that starts Monday to train the national team. Rodman also has organized an exhibition game in January in Pyongyang to celebrate Kim's birthday. Rodman could reveal the roster next week. He says former professional basketball players have committed to the game, though he declined to reveal names. USA Today Sports

December 4, 2013 Updates

The heavily pierced and tattooed icon will be traveling with a documentary crew, Paddy Power spokesman Rory Scott said. Scott said the names of the former NBA players Rodman has drafted to play in January will be released sometime next week. CNN.com

Seems like Dennis Rodman can't get enough of North Korea. The retired basketball star is headed to the reclusive country for the third time on December 18. He'll spend several days helping train the North Korean basketball team, which will play at least one exhibition game against former NBA players in January, according to Paddy Power, the UK-based online betting company sponsoring Rodman's trip. CNN.com

November 20, 2013 Updates

Dennis Rodman wants to belly up to the bar with some friends and order a shot of peace talks. He believed his latest proposal is just the tonic needed to ease tension between the United States and North Korea. "Everyone knows (President Barack) Obama drinks beer," Rodman said. "But you know what? I'm pretty sure he does have a cocktail here or there. I'd love to see him with a 'Bad Ass Vodka' shot in his hand, toasting to Kim Jong (Un) and me. That would be awesome." Associated Press

Rodman, who once wore a wedding dress to a book signing, said all his work should have earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. "People put that label on me like it's my responsibility to save the world," he said. "If it happens to come to that, then yes, I guess I'm all for it. Let's just all get together and keep everything cool, man." Associated Press

November 8, 2013 Updates

Once again, Kobe Bryant is under attack from a former Lakers teammate -- this time, it's Dennis Rodman throwing shade ... and TMZ Sports has the footage. Rodman -- who played with Kobe during the 98-99 season -- was at the W Hotel in Hollywood on November 3rd (singing with the jazz band) ... when he grabbed he mic and put Kobe on blast. "Kobe Bryant ... one thing -- f**k him," Rodman said ... "F**k him. F**k him. I'll say it again, f**k him." TMZ.com

October 25, 2013 Updates

Rodman was in Tokyo on Friday to promote a Japanese cable network's coverage of the NBA season. He refused to take any questions about his plans for more visits to North Korea, saying that's a topic for another time. He did say he was pretty sure of one thing. "We know that the Miami Heat, that's the best team," he said. "The Lakers, no chance." Sporting News

October 5, 2013 Updates
September 26, 2013 Updates

Dennis Rodman says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has asked him to train his players to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Days after returning from his second trip to visit Kim Jong Un — in which he said he became the first foreigner to hold the leader’s newborn daughter — Rodman announced plans Monday to stage two exhibition games in North Korea in January. Chicago Sun-Times

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