Kim Jong Un Rumors
A Former American basketball player has said that he regrets going on the ‘eerie’ diplomacy trip to North Korea with the controversial Dennis Rodman to meet Kim Jong-un. Former NBA player Vin Baker traveled to North Korea with Rodman and seven additional former NBA All-Star players in January to play an exhibition game against the North Korean basketball team, after which they were introduced to the North Korean leader. According to The Huffington Post, Baker said that he was ‘shocked, surprised, disappointed and hurt’ following the controversial trip, adding that he believes in hindsight, most of the players who went in that trip would have given it a second thought.
Dennis Rodman, two months after traveling to North Korea for the second time to visit leader Kim Jong Un and conduct an exhibition basketball game, insisted in an interview with ESPN that his motives were pure and that he would not go back if that is what people wanted. Rodman, speaking in a recent interview on camera with ESPN’s Mark Schwarz, said he was only tying to “do great things in life.” “I wish they understood the whole purpose of why I went to North Korea,” Rodman said. “I wish they did.”
Sporting a black canvas-like fedora with black feathers in the back and a pair of large-lense, white-framed sunglasses with a nose ring in each nostril, another ring looped around his lower lip and at least one ring in his left ear, Rodman, also wrapped in several bright neck scarves, wondered: “What makes me so damn bad? What makes me this bad, awful person?” “At least someone tried,” Rodman said. “So that’s how I look at it. You know, I don’t want to be a hero, I don’t want to be this, I don’t want to be that. I just wanted to be, just do happy things and do great things in life. That’s all I wanted to do. That’s it.”
The prevailing theory goes that late last year Dennis Rodman assembled a band of desperate, out of work, ex-NBA bounty hunters who couldn’t pass up one last paycheck, even if it came from a violent, oppressive leader in North Korea. Not true, former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson told me Wednesday. “I just didn’t know. I didn’t know,” he said of the trip to Pyongyang in January.
Anderson said he was not paid a stipend by Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un for his participation in a birthday-party pick-up game, which raises a question about who did pay the players. Anderson declined to say, but said he’s received widespread criticism for accompanying Rodman on the trip. And given what he knows now, Anderson said he wishes he wouldn’t have taken the journey. I wish he hadn’t either. “Me and Dennis do some things. We (both) live in Fort Lauderdale, and I do a lot of clinics and camps,” Anderson said. “He came and spoke at my camp for me. You can call me ignorant about the whole situation, but I didn’t do my diligence about North Korea. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know about the leader. I didn’t know anything too much about it. That’s where I was wrong.”
Anderson said he wants to help others not make the same mistakes he’s made, but showing up in North Korea with a band of ex-NBA misfits? Failing to even “Google” where he was going and who he was going to sign Happy Birthday to? Isn’t that a mistake he should have saved himself from? “It was a mistake,” he said. Anderson said he was met by US officials who wanted to debrief him after the trip, but wouldn’t go into details. I’m assuming they had the same questions about who funded the trip, exactly, if it wasn’t the North Korean government. “I wouldn’t talk about that. That’s a real dangerous situation,” he said. “I’m not a politician by no means. I went over there to be an ambassador of basketball. That’s what I’ve been doing since I retired. I didn’t want to get too deep into that.”
The former basketball player is probably the American with the most access to the North Korean leader, and many have been critical that he has not lobbied for the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae from a labor camp. “I’m not an ambassador, and I tried to strive and tell people, just because I know the marshal (Kim), that doesn’t mean I know the marshal like that,” he said.