Dennis Rodman: ‘I Knew Things Were Going to Change. I Knew It. I Was the Only One’
Here's why the eccentric former basketball star, one of the few who can call Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un friends, wept openly
As if Monday night weren’t historic enough, given the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman made the night a bit more interesting.
The zany former NBA star, whose warm relationship with Kim has given him newfound fame ever since his playing days ended, was present in Singapore for the Trump-Kim summit as a goodwill ambassador. He is a two-time “Celebrity Apprentice” guest and Trump supporter.
That said, CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed him last night — and, to say the least, it was interesting.
Rodman appeared on television wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap and a T-shirt that said, “Pot Coin” — a reference to a marijuana cryptocurrency. But Rodman’s words stood out more, particularly when he began comparing President Trump and former President Barack Obama.
Rodman said that when he first visited North Korea in 2013, Kim gave him information to relay to Obama. However, Rodman said the former president “didn’t even give me the time of day — he just brushed me off, but that didn’t deter me.”
Visibly upset, Rodman also said that under the Obama administration, he did not receive a pleasant welcome home the first time he returned stateside after visiting Kim.
"When I got home, I got so many death threats," Rodman said, visibly shaking and crying now. "And I believed in North Korea, and I couldn't even go home. I couldn't even go home, for 30 days. But I kept my head up."
Rodman appeared more optimistic in terms of Trump's efforts to reach out to both him and North Korea.
"We don't need a miracle, but we need the doors to be open so we can start fresh," he said.
"Donald Trump should take a lot of credit for this. He went out the box and made this happen," the former basketball star added.
Rodman also said that prior to this summit, he received a phone call from the president. He said Trump called him to say that he was proud of him.
Although Rodman is friendly with Trump and Kim and wants peace between the two countries, he said he has another goal.
"I just wanna bring sports to North Korea," Rodman said. "That's it, sports ... I'm just so happy to be here, man.”
He has a better understanding of both Kim and Trump on a personal level than many other people.
Whatever people think about Rodman, one thing's clear: He is trying to help bridge the gap between the United States and North Korea in any small way he can. Sure, he comes across as someone with issues — but he's well-intentioned and has a better understanding of both Kim and Trump on a personal level than many other people.
If people find Rodman amusing, that's fine. However, in his own way, he's trying to make the world a better place. That's what active pro athletes should be focused on trying to do instead of dividing the country.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.