“I’ll tell you guys one thing: take me seriously.” That was Dennis Rodman’s gloriously ironic closing remark during a press conference he held on Monday in New York City to announce that he would be training the North Korean national basketball team for the 2016 Olympics. The former NBA star visited Pyongyang for the second time in six months last week and again met with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, whom he calls his “friend for life.”
Rodman also declared that he and other former NBA players would travel to North Korea to participate in a basketball tournament in honor of Jong Un’s birthday in January. He hopes that “basketball diplomacy” will help to bridge the gap between the secretive nation and the western world. Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaking firm, sponsored Rodman’s trip to Pyongyang and arranged Monday’s press conference.
On Sunday, Rodman made headlines around the world when he revealed that Jong Un has a daughter whose name is Ju-ae, and stated that the North Korean leader is “a good dad.”