In an alternate universe, Kerr could have met the North Korean leader. As it turned out, a former Bulls player did indeed fill that role, albeit without government approval. Rodman became the first known U.S. citizen to meet Kim since he assumed power when he made his first of three trips to Pyongyang in 2012. Rodman’s first trip occurred in January 2012, eight months after Noland’s meeting, and Kerr said he remembers watching it on TV and seeing all the blowback The Worm got for his rogue trip.
Kim Jong Un Rumors
Had Obama green-lighted the mission, Noland envisioned Kerr knocking down a few shots to remind Kim “who’s boss.” Kerr said there is no way he’d have purposely lost unless Obama advised him to. From what he’s heard about North Korea’s ruling family, the true result of the game likely would never have reached the public anyway. He referenced the legend of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, allegedly shooting a 34 — that’s 38-under par — at the 18-hole Pyongyang Golf Club in 1994. “I’m going all out, because it doesn’t matter,” Kerr said. “Because the report in the international media would have been that he skunked me. I know (his father) made a birdie on every round of his golf score that one time. So he would have destroyed me in H-O-R-S-E, too.”
Daniel Dale: Trump is asked on Fox Sports Radio if he’s asked Kim Jong Un about his love of the ’90s Chicago Bulls. He says Kim “really does like Dennis Rodman,” then that he thinks Rodman would be better than “some of these stiffs” from Harvard the US usually sends over to North Korea.
Ahead of the second summit in Hanoi, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un requested as part of the agreement between the countries moving forward that the U.S. send “famous basketball players” to normalize relations between the two countries, according to two U.S. officials.
Basketball diplomacy has been tossed around in the past as a way to breakdown roadblocks with Kim, who is a diehard basketball fan. Since boarding school in Switzerland, Kim has said he loves playing basketball and would wear a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt and Nike sneakers.
During the Obama administration, State Department officials considered sending basketball players to North Korea to jumpstart diplomatic efforts, according to the Washington Post. Kim Jong Un’s father Kim Jong Il was also a fan of basketball and requested that the U.S. send Michael Jordan to North Korea. “When I was there on my trips, the father [Kim Jong Il] through his foreign ministry people wanted me to extend an invitation to Michael Jordan,” former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson recalled from his communications in 2000 in an interview with ABC News.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman predicts President Donald Trump could win a Nobel Peace Prize if he reaches a nuclear deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — and he’s willing to help. Rodman is not in Vietnam, site of this week’s summit, though he had gone to Singapore in 2018 when the leaders first met. Writing in a letter to the president that he shared on Twitter, Rodman promised after the summit to follow up “with you, your team and my good friend, Chairman Kim.”