HoopsHype Kim Jong Un rumors

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

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

And Rodman, who joked that he hadn’t drawn such a crowd in New York since he wore a wedding dress to a book signing, was adamant that this venture was serious — “groundbreaking,” in Rodman’s words. “People think this is a gimmick. I would love to make this a gimmick ... but it’s not about the money,” he said. Chicago Sun-Times

September 16, 2013 Updates

Dennis Rodman has parlayed his strange friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un into a starring role in a pistachio commercial. This could have been his plan all along. It’s as sensible as any other explanation. In the short spot, an actor playing Jong Un blows Rodman up for committing some sort of nut-related offense. The Big Lead

September 13, 2013 Updates
September 11, 2013 Updates

According to the source familiar with the actual arrangement, Rodman will not be coaching the team for the next three years, though he was offered the job. But he will be working with North Korean players for a week in December in preparation for an exhibition game scheduled for January sponsored by Paddy Power, the Irish online betting company. (In the press conference, Rodman said that Paddy Power would be putting up three to five million dollars for the tournament). “There’s the one week training camp in December, then they’re going to see how the games go in January,” the source said. “Then it’s subject to negotiation. The sides will discuss and maybe negotiate a second tournament in Europe in June 2014.” buzzfeed.com

September 9, 2013 Updates

Gentleman, scholar and international diplomat Dennis Rodman says he’s been invited to bring a team of 12 former NBA players to play in a basketball tournament in North Korea early next year. Rodman, who recently returned from a second trip to North Korea to visit his buddy Kim Jong-un, said he would try and assemble a team that includes Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, among others, to play in the tournament, which is scheduled for next January and totally sounds real and not like the plot to a screwball 1980s comedy. “I’m not a joke,” Rodman said at a press conference, while sitting in front of a bust of his own head and next to the owner of an Irish bookmaking site. “Take me seriously.” For The Win

September 7, 2013 Updates

Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman returned on Saturday from his second visit to North Korea this year where he again met the reclusive country's leader Kim Jong-un, but did not come back with jailed American missionary Kenneth Bae. The flamboyant former NBA star's visit came after North Korea abruptly withdrew its invitation to Robert King, the U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, who was expected to head to Pyongyang in a bid to secure Bae's release. Bae, 45, was sentenced to hard labour for 15 years in May for crimes against the state. He had been arrested in November after entering the North with a tour group and his health has been deteriorating since he was imprisoned. Toronto Sun

The NBA Hall of Famer and five-time championship winner said the two had formed a close bond over the course of his two visits to the isolated communist dictatorship. "He's my friend for life. I don't care what you guys think about him," Rodman said. Wearing designer sunglasses and a stocking cap adorned with metallic spangles, Rodman quickly flashed with anger when asked about Bae, hurling obscene remarks back at reporters who quizzed him about the purpose of his trip. At one point, he had to be restrained by a member of his entourage before being bundled into a waiting car. Rodman told The Associated Press as he was leaving his hotel in Pyongyang that Kim had spoken about his visiting again, and that Kim "really actually wants to change things." He said Kim had encouraged Rodman when he goes back to the United States to "say some very good, positive, and very good things about this country, that's what we talked about a lot." Bayou Buzz

Upon Rodman' s arrival on Tuesday, a Sports Ministry source told Xinhua, on condition of anonymity, that "his visit has nothing to do with the sentenced Korean American," adding that they have been preparing for Rodman's visit since late July. Rodman visited the DPRK in late February, when tensions on the Korean Peninsula had soared after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12. When asked about how his trip would contribute to the two countries' relations, Rodman told Xinhua in February: "About the relationship, no one man can do anything. Do not hate people, life is not about that. I love him, he is an awesome guy." CRI.cn

September 6, 2013 Updates
September 3, 2013 Updates

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman landed Tuesday in North Korea and said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps — but not be a diplomat. Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang's airport by Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of North Korea's Olympic Committee, just days after Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring home Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed there. The North abruptly called off the official visit because it said the U.S. had ruined the atmosphere for talks by holding a drill over South Korea with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers. Rodman said the purpose of his visit was to display his friendship for Kim and North Korea and to "show people around the world that we as Americans can actually get along with North Korea." The Olympian

Mr. Rodman said in Beijing that he was planning a five-day visit to the North but played down speculation that he would try to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary who has been jailed there since late last year after being detained on North Korean soil. “I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” the Basketball Hall of Fame member told Reuters in a telephone interview. “I’m just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour.” New York Times

August 30, 2013 Updates

The U.S. State Department wants to know if Kim Jong Un is ruling North Korea, Dennis Rodman said on Wednesday, hinting to the Huffington Post that he would soon be returning to North Korea. Rodman’s comments cleared up months of speculation over whether or not U.S. authorities had debriefed the former NBA star after his April visit to North Korea. NK News

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