Basketball Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman has been seen recently in North Korea working on a project for HBO with a couple of members of the Harlem Globetrotters. While in North Korea, Rodman met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who was apparently a big fan of the Chicago Bulls title teams of the 1990s.
North Korea recently conducted an underground nuclear test, violating the U.N. ban on atomic activity and straining relations with the United States. The NBA's former bad boy decided to meet with one of the world's current bad boys, which has drawn a disappointed reaction from NBA commissioner David Stern. In an interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes, Stern called the meeting "ridiculous."
Stern: "I think it's ridiculous. I think that if you're going to meet someone with the record on human rights, and nuclear testing in a reckless way, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, and exporting a horrible brand of whatever it is that he's exporting, starving his people, and locking them up, it should be done only in conjunction with the State Department with an agenda. If not, you shouldn't go."
Rose: "Well surely you can't, well I mean, did he know he was going to meet him when he went over there?"
Stern: "No. But then it was the burden of somebody to try to educate Dennis a little bit so he doesn't come back and say, 'the dude is really cool. His father was great. His grandfather was great. And really why doesn't the President just give him a buzz?'"
Rodman and Stern have never been a pair that got along all that well. Rodman incurred countless fines and suspensions during his playing career with the Pistons, Spurs, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks. He was suspended 11 games in 1997 for kicking a cameraman courtside after a collision and six games for head-butting a referee during a 1996 game against the New Jersey Nets.
It looks like they don't see eye-to-eye on foreign affairs, either, in regards to meeting with the North Korean dictator.