Dennis Rodman and Other NBA Stars Arrive in North Korea

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman prepares to check in for his flight to North Korea at Beijing’s international airport.
WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

Dennis Rodman and a group of ex-All Star players—including Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker—have arrived in North Korea as they prep for Wednesday’s game against a home team in honor of leader Kim Jong Un’s birthday, which is believed to be the same day as the match.

Rodman, who considers Kim a "friend," told the Associated Press that he has received death threats for his repeated visits to the secretive country, whose regime regards Americans as enemies. However, Rodman has been a staunch defender of his friend Kim and the country.


"The marshal is actually trying to change this country in a great way," Rodman said of Kim, according to the AP, using Kim's official title. "I think that people thought that this was a joke, and Dennis Rodman is just doing this because [of] fame and fortune.

"Just to even have us here, it's an awesome feeling. I want these guys here to show the world, and speak about North Korea in a great light," he added. "I hope people will have a different view about North Korea."

Tensions are still high, however, as the totalitarian regime has threatened to use its nuclear weapons. Kim also recently executed his second-in-command (and uncle) for allegedly trying to overthrow Kim.

However, it seems that at least some of the ex-NBA teammates are upbeat about the trip.

Charles Smith, a former Knicks player, voiced his hope that the game could lead to a better relationship between the two countries.


"It's new being here, but overall the concept is not new," he told the AP. "The team is made up of a lot of guys who really care. That's the most important—it's not about bringing Dream Teamers. It's about guys who are coming that want to be a part of this, that care, and really that care about humanity."

Read more at CBS News.

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