The diplomatic antics of Dennis Rodman in North Korea deflect from the athletes who are genuinely trying to help
As various parts of the world continue to present diplomatic challenges— North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela—the need for an überdiplomat is high, perhaps even a superhero type who can tame the most villainous of despots. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And that man is Dennis Rodman? Yes, Dennis Rodman, the “Worm” and new BFF of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, whom Rodman described as “a cool guy.” Apparently Rodman’s basis for this conclusion was that Kim “loves basketball.” Thus, Rodman and Kim were courtside together at a Harlem Globetrotters game in North Korea, the “clown princes of basketball” playing before two clowns. Rodman and Kim may have been the most unlikely couple to preside over a court since Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
When I first heard of Rodman’s visit, I thought there were two possibilities: 1) Rodman’s benefactor, Donald Trump, was testing out a new reality TV series to be called “The Celebrity Diplomat” or 2) Kim had mistaken Rodman for the North Korean villain with all the diamonds in his face in the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” and was giving him a hero’s welcome home.