↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

No more defending Dennis Rodman after his North Korea support

I’ve written at length, for different publications, about my fondness for Dennis Rodman. He was my favorite Piston of the Bad Boys era. He temporarily made me a secret Spurs and Bulls fan after he was no longer a Piston. More importantly, he changed the way I thought about basketball for the better. Most kids my age grew up idolizing Michael Jordan. The names are different now, but the concept is the same with kids who wanted to be the next Allen Iverson or Vince Carter or Kobe Bryant or LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Basically, when picking out a basketball hero, points matter. The guys who can score at will are always going to stand out.

Rodman was the first player who became a star without any discernible offensive game, and that helped kids like me with no discernible offensive game realize you can still make meaningful contributions as basketball players without scoring. In fact, he was downright hostile to the concept of offense at times during his playing days, freely passing up shots that he probably should’ve taken. His job was to shut down opponents defensively regardless of position (guarding everyone from Jordan to Shaq at different times in his career) and dominate the glass. He did those two things so well that, even though he wasn’t an offensive threat, he was still one of the most valuable players in the league and, eventually, a Hall of Famer. Those accomplishments for his playing days are incredibly well-deserved.

I stand by everything I’ve ever written about Rodman’s incredible game, his impact and his legacy as a basketball player. But because I’ve written so positively about him over the past several years, I think it’s also important to acknowledge the other story — he’s shameless and destructive.

His high profile demons are nothing new, so I won’t bother recounting them. Rodman, based on his own autobiography, had an incredibly difficult upbringing and a harder start to his life than most could imagine. In adulthood, he’s had struggles with addiction and, based on his emotional Hall of Fame speech, still has immense sadness in his life that is certainly serious and paints a complex picture of what Rodman is coping with.

Rodman’s seeming self-destructiveness, his neverending … uhunique? I guess? … self-promotion endeavors, his making Gary Busey appear to be the coherent one on a crappy reality TV show … all of those things are mostly harmless to everyone but him (and likely his family, but who knows?). The rock and roll lifestyle, Dennis being Dennis, etc. The defenses (some of which I’ve used too, admittedly) are as familiar as the actions.

But here’s the thing … Dennis Rodman’s recent embrace of a murderous regime in North Korea is unforgivable. Rodman’s worst offense, among many, in an insane interview with CNN that I’m sure most have seen by now, was insinuating that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae, being held without charges in North Korea, was guilty of … something:

“Are you going to take an opportunity, if you get it, to speak up for the family of Kenneth Bae and say, Let us know why this man is being held?’ If you can help them, will you take the opportunity?” Cuomo asked.

“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”

“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”

“You tell me,” Rodman shouted. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”

“They haven’t released any charges,” Cuomo said. “They haven’t released any reason.”

“I would love to speak on this,” Rodman said, again waving Smith off.

“Go ahead,” Cuomo urged.

Instead, Rodman went off on Cuomo for the remainder of the interview, screaming at him to recognize the sacrifice being made by his fellow players.

First, to that last point about the ‘sacrifice’ of his fellow players — they didn’t sacrifice anything. They got paid by a rich dictator to perform for his own personal pleasure. That’s nothing new — entertainers have a history of taking money from dictators for private performances. But most have the sense not to compound a questionable decision probably driven by greed by launching into vague, incoherent defenses of human rights violations. And most certainly don’t try to explain away those vague assertions by essentially saying, “Totally sorry, I was drunk.”

Rodman getting involved with North Korea in the first place, even if Kim Jong Un is really his “friend,” was a horrible idea, as Matt Ufford of SB Nation eloquently wrote last year. Whatever Rodman’s intentions (and I have no idea if they he was motivated purely by money/attention here or if he truly wanted to be a peaceful diplomat who could help the people of North Korea), his tendency to get defensive and emotional, to drink heavily and to just in general be about the last person you’d pick to lead international diplomacy efforts for a long list of reasons, made this always seem to be bordering on the verge of a disaster. His comments to CNN were harmful to Bae’s family as they work to free him, his “apology” was needlessly insulting and his general involvement in North Korea is a completely unnecessary international relations distraction that was completely avoidable.

There’s no defending Dennis Rodman anymore. It’s possible to live with and explain away destructive behavior that does harm only to the individual him or herself. This is not that though. When Rodman’s jersey was retired, I wrote about how happy I was to see it among other Pistons legends. Now, when you see it next to players who have truly been humanitarian-minded, positive influences in their communities like Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dave Bing, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson and Bob Lanier, it clearly doesn’t belong. Rodman’s basketball accomplishments can and should never be taken away from him. He’s truly one of the unique, innovative and best players of his era. But that’s all he is. He’s out of his league among those other Pistons greats and is not deserving of the efforts the organization made to honor him. Greg Monroe can keep that No. 10 forever.

52 Comments

  • Jan 9, 20142:04 pm
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    Have you been invited to Dennis and Jane Fonda’s wedding?

  • Jan 9, 20143:08 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    Wow! Dennis is working hard on securing his future pay checks, and now he’s evil? He’s doing what the congress of the US fails to do and is supplying jobs, not a lot of them but it counts!
    I’m sure the US doesn’t murder folks, innocent bystanders by the millions dropping bombs, and I’m sure we don’t have people imprisoned for … “Something” all over the place! No, we didn’t slaughter the Indian Nation, or enslave and kill Blacks! No, our hands are clean!
    Oh and by the way, we do business with dudes just a bad as Kimmie Boy, but nobody cares because they have oil!
    This isn’t to say this dude isn’t bad, he is, but the selective outrage is stunning!
    Dennis Rodman is being used by the media to drive news cycles and hatred! Rodman has absolutely no power, no authority, and no television stations, you have to seek him out to make this story, and they have.
    It amounts to nothing, but they’ve conned you into believing it’s something!
    You and the rest of the media need to leave Rodman alone!

    • Jan 9, 20143:48 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Dennis is working hard on securing his future pay checks, and now he’s evil?”

      I didn’t say evil anywhere. Also, I wouldn’t say that singing happy birthday to a dictator and losing a game on purpose to a team of North Korean players is “working hard.” Good on him for getting paid though, I guess.

      “I’m sure the US doesn’t murder folks, innocent bystanders by the millions dropping bombs, and I’m sure we don’t have people imprisoned for … “Something” all over the place!”

      This is a Pistons website, so it doesn’t really seem the appropriate forum for me to air grievances with the U.S. government. Airing my grievances with a really misguided prominent former Piston though? That’s totally inbounds.

      “Oh and by the way, we do business with dudes just a bad as Kimmie Boy, but nobody cares because they have oil!”

      Um … I think a lot of people care, actually. And if former Pistons play charity basketball games for them and serenade them and say things they do to their own citizens “aren’t that bad,” I’ll write about that too. 

      “This isn’t to say this dude isn’t bad, he is, but the selective outrage is stunning!”

      My outrage isn’t selective. I’m outraged by a lot of things. This one just happens to be a topic related to a team I cover for a website devoted to news and commentary about said team.

      “Dennis Rodman is being used by the media to drive news cycles and hatred!”

      If Rodman did media and simply stuck to the talking points he did during his first trip — that he was motivated by diplomacy, etc. — I wouldn’t have written about this. You can be diplomatic without essentially complimenting a noted brutal dictator, which is what Rodman recklessly did in the CNN interview. Then he apologized by explaining he’d been drinking.

      “It amounts to nothing, but they’ve conned you into believing it’s something!”

      I don’t believe it’s much. I do believe that I’ve written a lot of positive columns about Rodman over the years, I’ve glossed over the fact that he’s a highly troubled individual because I happened to love the way he played. I felt the need to balance that out by acknowledging the fact that he’s completely wrong for doing this.

      “You and the rest of the media need to leave Rodman alone!”

      Say it again with feeling!

    • Jan 9, 20144:08 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I have to agree with Oracle and Aaron on this one. Every pro athlete who ever posed for pictures, shook hands with, or played basketball with President Bush or Obama has similar blood on their hands. The difference between Kim brutalizing his own people and Obama signing off directly on drone strikes that kill innocents abroad is lost on me. How many wars has Jong Un actually started in the last 13 years? I mean for goodness sake, how could any black pro athlete in good conscience pose with Bush after Hurricane Katrina?
      Just because Kim’s abuses are more transparent than the ones perpetrated by Western governments like the USA’s doesn’t mean that they are worse. Dennis Rodman may be bizarre, and his “basketball diplomacy” may be misguided, but to say that he’s endorsing global violence any more than this is an exaggeration.

      • Jan 9, 20144:19 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “Dennis Rodman may be bizarre, and his “basketball diplomacy” may be misguided, but to say that he’s endorsing global violence any more than this is an exaggeration.”

        I’m not sure that I said he’s “endorsing global violence.” He’s just reckless and naive. He’s motivated by getting paid, which is fine, I don’t care about that. But he’s needlessly injecting himself into the conversation about North Korea, he tossed out vague accusations against someone imprisoned there without any specific supporting evidence and then later used “sorry, drunk” to try to retract those statements. That’s reckless, it’s damaging to others (notably, to Kenneth Bae’s family) and it also overshadowed some of the diplomatic motivations the other players were articulating for why they wanted to make the trip.

        As far as your comparison to athletes meeting the U.S. president … it doesn’t really work for a few key reasons:

        * They aren’t being paid to go to the White House to shake the president’s hand. Rodman has been paid for his trips to North Korea.

        * Except in very rare instances, players aren’t going to the White House and endorsing the policies of any president. They’re doing a photo op. I don’t really have an issue with photo ops. Even Rodman’s first trip to North Korea, I wasn’t really critical of. I’m critical of Rodman making efforts to defend the North Korean government. Just because our own government or other governments do shitty things to people all over the world doesn’t make it OK for Rodman to cozy up to one of them and suggest that things aren’t that bad under his regime.

      • Jan 9, 201411:36 pm
        by Herman Neutic

        Reply

        First, thanks to Crispus, Aaron, and Oracle for taking the time to bring necessary context to this article.
        I stopped being a Rodman fan way back when he pushed Pippen into the supports for the backboard. Any praise for him after that, I consider enabling.
        The US gov and the corporate media will either demonize or whitewash a foreign leader–no matter how good or bad such a leader might actually be in reality–for various political and economic reasons. To get at the truth beneath such propaganda requires that a person conduct his or her own research project. By unquestioningly accepting the US gov/MSM on North Korea, as Patrick’s article does (whether he realized it or not) Patrick participated in this effort. Of course, Patrick is free to write about anything he likes–Rodman, North Korea, and any other areas where sports, politics, big biz, etc, overlap–but I think he owes a debt of gratitude to Crispus, Aaron, and Oracle for the balance they have brought to the discussion.

        • Jan 10, 20149:47 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “First, thanks to Crispus, Aaron, and Oracle for taking the time to bring necessary context to this article.”

          Context? OK. I call it adding strawmen. But whatevs.

          “Any praise for him after that, I consider enabling.”

          Even praise for him as one of the best rebounders/defenders of all-time? Because he’s definitely earned that praise.

          “By unquestioningly accepting the US gov/MSM on North Korea, as Patrick’s article does (whether he realized it or not) Patrick participated in this effort. ”

          I didn’t really make much commentary on North Korea. I’m positive there’s nuance to what is going on there that is under-reported or not reported. You know why it’s under-reported? Because their dictator, except in very rare instances, bans outside media from entering the country.

          The point of the article wasn’t to discuss North Korea. It was to point out that Rodman, likely motivated by a payday, injected himself into the international relations conversation and did so incredibly recklessly.

          “To get at the truth beneath such propaganda requires that a person conduct his or her own research project. ”

          I missed the part where Dennis Rodman did this. Or his getting paid to lose a basketball game and sing to a dictator enough research for him to conclusively say things like conditions aren’t as bad as what is reported in North Korea?

          • Jan 10, 20141:14 pm
            by Herman Neutic

            “Even praise for him as one of the best rebounders/defenders of all-time? Because he’s definitely earned that praise.”
            I stopped “praising” Roger Clemens when he hit Mike Piazza in the head. Was he a great pitcher? No doubt. But how much of his success was the result of his being willing to risk other people’s health? Does he deserve to be ”praised” for anything at all? That was my point.
             
            “I didn’t really make much commentary on North Korea.”
            You made enough commentary on North Korea for several people to take issue with it and post serious responses. If such responses surprise you or seem uncalled for, it may be because you have internalized mainstream propaganda more than you realize.
             
            “I’m positive there’s nuance to what is going on there that is under-reported or not reported. You know why it’s under-reported? Because their dictator, except in very rare instances, bans outside media from entering the country.”
            I don’t think the issue that many people posting here are raising is mainly about N. Korean censorship and what is ”under-reported,” but rather that what is being reported is distorted and manipulated by the US Gov/and MSM. And that distortion is not controlled by N. Korea’s dictator but by powerful interests in the USA for purposes of manipulating the US population into supporting strategic and economic goals which are harmful to the American public.
            “I missed the part where Dennis Rodman did this. Or his getting paid to lose a basketball game and sing to a dictator enough research…”
            Obviously, Dennis Rodman has not done enough research about a lot of things, but this, in itself, doesn’t make him so unique.
             

          • Jan 10, 20149:03 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Obviously, Dennis Rodman has not done enough research about a lot of things, but this, in itself, doesn’t make him so unique.”

            It does, however, make him completely unqualified for diplomatic relations, which was essentially the point of the post.

    • Jan 10, 20143:28 am
      by MrHappyMushroom

      Reply

      You are right, Mr. Oracle, that it is selective outrage. The US government and the people it represents are in the ultimate glass house on this. Kim Jong Un is a murderous thug? Welp, we funded and built up Saddam Hussein, genocidal Latin American dictators, napalmed hundreds of thousands of villagers in Vietnam, were gung-ho on Apartheid era South Africa and continue to support pretty much anyone and everyone, no matter how odious, as long as the perceived US interests are served.

      (BTW–this ain’t an anti-America diatribe. It’s how entities–governments, corporations, individuals–with an excess of power tend to behave. What, for example, could be more harmless than a Belgian? Ask about ten million Congolese about that…)

      At the same time, it really is gross when people like Rodman seem desperate to do anything at all for a buck, or at least to get some press coverage into their empty lives. American presidents embracing savage dictators for decades or Rodman announcing that KJU is his bestie–both are worthy of contempt.

      • Jan 10, 20149:43 am
        by Tim Thielke

        Reply

        It’s definitely selective, everything on this site is. This site is specific to things in some way related to the Detroit Pistons.

        Would you really prefer a list of everything that has ever outraged Patrick?

  • Jan 9, 20143:26 pm
    by Aaron

    Reply

    Sending nuclear-capable bombers during recent military drills with Seoul is the reason given for the breakdown of talks for his release.

    Are you familiar with the war crimes committed by the United States during the Korean War?

    Personally, I think North Korea should release him… but uh… Our prison population is more than 2.4 million!! No other country comes close to comparing to that figure. We have also illegally detained thousands of people in other countries without providing any evidence of their “crimes” and now, with section 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, American citizens can be detained indefinitely without trial from their own home!!

    We also just killed over 1,000,000 people in Iraq and continue to murder innocent civilians across the world on a daily basis with illegal drone strikes… Did you notice the civilian wedding in Yemen we blew up (like a terrorist would) and murdered a dozen people “by mistake” last month? This happens ALL THE TIME.

    North Korea is nuts.. but at least they aren’t openly supporting murder and profiting off of death & destruction across the world. Why do you think we sold $30,000,000,000 worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, of all places, in 2011?

    • Jan 9, 20144:02 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Sending nuclear-capable bombers during recent military drills with Seoul is the reason given for the breakdown of talks for his release.

      Are you familiar with the war crimes committed by the United States during the Korean War?”

      So, if I’m following, you’re arguing that because there are atrocities here and elsewhere, it’s OK that Dennis Rodman publicly snuggles up and defends a noted brutal dictator? Got it.

      “We also just killed over 1,000,000 people in Iraq and continue to murder innocent civilians across the world on a daily basis with illegal drone strikes… Did you notice the civilian wedding in Yemen we blew up (like a terrorist would) and murdered a dozen people “by mistake” last month? This happens ALL THE TIME.”

      Did a Piston or former Piston defend those things publicly? Because if one did, I’ll definitely write about it. But considering this is a Pistons news and commentary site, it’s probably not the proper forum for me to write detailed commentaries on foreign and military policy and actions. I dunno though … it could be more interesting than writing about Josh Smith’s jumpshot. Maybe you’re onto something.

        • Jan 9, 20144:18 pm
          by AB

          Reply

          Every sports team goes to the White House. Not every athlete travels to North Korea and kisses up to the dear leader.

        • Jan 9, 20144:22 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          False equivalence man. Shaking a president’s hand in a photo op is not the same thing Rodman did here, not even close, actually. You understand that, right? Unless I’m mistaken and like Darvin Ham stood up and gave a rousing speech supporting US Iraq policy at the time?

        • Jan 9, 201410:36 pm
          by Crispus

          Reply

          No, obviously it’s not the same, but where do we draw the line?
          Athletes are pretty well known for acquiescing to various appearances in spite of the geopolitical ramifications. It’s when they make a stand that it makes waves. If you read the Wikipedia for Jesse Owens, you’ll find that he felt he received more regards from from Hitler than from FDR after beating the Nazis at the Olympics – he didn’t stand up and felt used afterward. We still remember the black power salute during the 1968 Olympic medal ceremony as scandalous.
          -and Muhammad Ali once said:
          “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father… Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”
          What Rodman is doing has a weird backwards feel – like he is putting his personal “friendship” with Kim above his sense of justice for N. Korea’s oppressed. This much in the same way athletes here put their sense of patriotism over their sense of justice for oh, I dunno, thousands of Iraqi civilians, the dead and bloated victims of hurricane Katrina, Abdulrahman Awlaki etc.

          • Jan 10, 20149:56 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “where do we draw the line?”

            I’ve said a few times, I don’t care that Rodman goes to North Korea. That’s his business. I think a good place to start drawing the line is what Rodman did in the CNN interview — made reckless, vague and hurtful statements about a situation he’s clearly ill-informed about, didn’t back up those vague statements with facts supporting what he was saying and then apologized for the whole thing by saying he was drunk. I think that entire episode is a pretty shitty indicator of Rodman’s ability to act in a diplomatic capacity, as he claims he was with these trips.

            If Rodman went to North Korea, saw things that he believes are reported incorrectly by the US government or media and addressed those things in a nuanced, intelligent way, I have ZERO problem with him or any athlete doing that on any cause, whether I agree or disagree with it. I have a major issue with him being misleading with his intentions (him getting paid for what he calls diplomatic activities) and making inflammatory statements that he does’t defend or support with any cogent explanation. That’s reckless and deserves to be called out.

          • Jan 11, 201412:38 pm
            by Crispus

            I can sort of agree with the first paragraph, but really, had Rodman been more suave in his insinuations or non-answer it would have passed without outrage. Politicians and other public figures use dog whistles and innuendos all the time to suggest unpleasant things about people or groups of people.
             
            We just don’t know how deep the friendship between Rodman and Kim goes. Much of Rodman’s career and post-career have been a long cry for the attention and love he did not get as a child. Kim meanwhile, is incredibly inscrutable. We don’t even know his age, much less his psychology – son of a famous monster, groomed to oppress an entire nation in the guise of god. Who can say that these two odd characters don’t have an actual connection, one that could indeed allow some small daylight into North Korea?
             
            And do we really think that North Korea is going to say “Hey Kenneth, Dennis Rodman said you might have done something wrong – we’re doubling your sentence!”? While Bae’s imprisonment is unfortunate and probably unjust, he’s getting a much better deal (actual charges, a tangible sentence, contact with international diplomats) than many of the men held at Guantanamo Bay…

  • Jan 9, 20144:17 pm
    by AB

    Reply

    I think Oracle works for the North Korean PR team… Rodman acting all buddy-buddy with a guy that just had his uncle eaten by dogs, runs an entire starving country and is holding an American for unclear reasons is inexcusable. Pistons need to disassociate themselves with Rodman as soon as possible. And trying to compare American politicians with Kim Jong-un is just idiotic. We certainly have our own issues, but come on. There’s a reason North Koreans are a foot shorter than their South Korean counterparts. 

  • Jan 9, 20144:51 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    Pat this article is a joke.. Seriously, grow up.

  • Jan 9, 20144:54 pm
    by Lennon

    Reply

    What Rodman is saying is give Peace a chance,  Love thy enemy

    • Jan 9, 20145:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      No, he actually is saying this: ““The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?””

      Which is a fine thing to say if it precedes evidence of an actual imprisonable crime. But when it’s just incoherent rambling because you’re trying to defend your friend the dictator who is paying you and other NBA players to provide personal entertainment for him? It’s not really fine.

      • Jan 9, 20146:39 pm
        by AYC

        Reply

        Kenneth Bae I believe, was evangelizing in North Korea, which they don’t take too kindly towards because usually the missionaries (rightfully so) urge the toppling of the regime.  Kenneth Bae knew what he was getting into.

    • Jan 9, 20145:16 pm
      by Clint in Flint

      Reply

      What Rodman is saying is ” hey, look at me”.

  • Jan 9, 20145:06 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    This point by Patrick bears repeating, because, apparently, a few of you aren’t getting it:

    “Except in very rare instances, players aren’t going to the White House and endorsing the policies of any president. They’re doing a photo op. I don’t really have an issue with photo ops. Even Rodman’s first trip to North Korea, I wasn’t really critical of. I’m critical of Rodman making efforts to defend the North Korean government. Just because our own government or other governments do shitty things to people all over the world doesn’t make it OK for Rodman to cozy up to one of them and suggest that things aren’t that bad under his regime.”

  • Jan 9, 20145:14 pm
    by jg22

    Reply

    Does anyone have espn Insider?
     
    I heard there was something in Chad Ford’s article today where he claims the Pistons are shopping Monroe.

  • Jan 9, 20145:18 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    It is also worth noting that other players who went on the trip under the auspices that it was a diplomatic trip feel like it was a mistake:

    http://www.tmz.com/2014/01/08/cliff-robinson-wife-north-korea-basketball-dennis-rodman/

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/1/7/5284454/dennis-rodman-north-korea-charles-smith-remorse

    And, worth noting part two, that Rodman’s spokesperson blamed the other players, and not Rodman, for Rodman’s CNN comments:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/dennis-rodman-spokesman-other-players-attitudes-caused-cnn-m

  • Jan 9, 20146:50 pm
    by AYC

    Reply

    First off, I’m not sure Rodman at this point could be found competent enough to stand trial in the U.S., so any talk of “treason” and such has to be tempered with the fact that we are potentially dealing with someone suffering from mental illness. 
    Secondly, there is something very “Korean” about this that is somewhat diplomatic.  South Korea’s policy does vacillate between hard and soft-line approaches, but presently they are pursuing a policy of engagement.  Something like having a famous celebrity visit in order to ease tensions and make inroads would be a common approach, say like famous North/South soccer players visiting.
    Rodman is doing something similar and actually how Koreans like to make friends with strangers- find an area of common interest, usually around a hobby, eat together, and then get incredibly drunk and go carousing.  This is supposed to relax everyone, reduce tensions, open people up to speak honestly, and create “jeong” (?), a sort of friendship and understanding.  
    Now, I’m sure there is a lot more at play- Rodman’s need for attention, KJE’s megalomania, whatever other schemes are involved and so on.  But things like getting drunk and signing together would not be an atypical Korean attempt at building relationships.  I mean Korea has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world and the most common hobby is for people to go to a “kareoke room” as part of a private party and get smashed together.  The staff at the school I work at does it at least 6 times a year as part of our school policy to promote good relations. 
     

    • Jan 10, 201410:06 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Um … what?

      I don’t really know what you’re saying in here. But as far as your first sentence, I don’t think anyone, especially me, suggested that what Rodman did should be a crime or treasonous. I merely suggested that he’s a shameless scumbag.

      • Jan 10, 20147:00 pm
        by AYC

        Reply

        Three main points-
        1.  Dennis Rodman might be suffering from brain damage, chemical abuse, or have such a diminished IQ that he can’t really be held responsible for his actions. 
        2.  While boozing and carousing with a dictator seems to us like “sucking up”, in Korea this is how two separate organizations build familiarity.  If you are negotiating a deal with another company, the first night you’d all eat dinner together, get drunk, go to a kareoke room, and get incredibly bombed.  This is supposed to build trust and friendship.  In the context of Korean culture, this whole thing kinda makes a strange sorta sense. 
        3.  Obviously Rodman is also an attention whore and North Korea is using him for propaganda purposes, but there probably is at least some attempt here to get something going on. 

  • Jan 9, 20148:09 pm
    by Ra

    Reply

    I rarely post here, but I had to speak up this time. Why are you morons bashing a well-written, incisive article chronicling Rodman’s diplomatic buffoonery? The article was on point, and actually written as as counterbalance to all the praise pieces that proceeded it. This crap that is going on in North Korea is serious stuff.  Rodman is the last person who should be involved for the exact reasons the article stated.  And the fact that he has been paid to go over there makes it look even more pathetic. And I agree that the piece in no way absolves the United States for their past crimes. Great article, Patrick.

    • Jan 9, 20149:19 pm
      by Merwin

      Reply

      I’ve always loved Dennis, but I have to agree.  Great article.

    • Jan 10, 201412:27 am
      by Smitty

      Reply

      Some people will argue over anything. Rodman clearly needs to quit drinking.

  • Jan 9, 20148:26 pm
    by AYC

    Reply

    I’d also like to add, that over here no one in S. Korea really cares too much about what Rodman is up to or sees him as worse than Hitler.  Lots of (ugh) Bulls fans here from the Jordan-era.  They see Rodman and his trips for what they are- publicity stunts and paid for excursions fulfilling childhood fantasies.  I think we’re kinda making too big of a deal over it.

    • Jan 10, 201410:04 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t care about Rodman’s trips or how he gets paid. I just don’t want him positioning himself as some sort of expert on North Korea. He’s clearly not qualified to be doing that and he’s also clearly motivated by a payday, which should immediately call into question his assertions that he has diplomatic intentions.

  • Jan 10, 20148:09 am
    by johnnyboy

    Reply

    Suggest you stick to what you know best, basketball. There’s a lot more to the Kenneth Bae/North/South Korea story than meets the eye. As Walter in The Big Lebowski said, “You’re out of your element.” Do enjoy the BB articles though.

    • Jan 10, 201410:02 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Ha. The folly in your thinking is suggesting that I know basketball.

      Also, I haven’t really offered commentary on the “Kenneth Bae/North/South Korea story” because, as you say, I don’t really know. I offered commentary on the fact that Dennis Rodman certainly isn’t the person who should publicly be speaking on it either. His comments and subsequent explanation of his comments were ridiculous and deserving of every bit of criticism they receive.

      I’m still waiting for the people being critical down here to actually mount a defense for what Rodman said.

      • Jan 10, 20141:18 pm
        by johnnyboy

        Reply

        “Ha. The folly in your thinking is suggesting that I know basketball.”
        Modesty is an admiral trait. My point was you obviously know more about basketball than US/Korean geopolitics generally, and the Kenneth Bae situation specifically.
        “Also, I haven’t really offered commentary on the “Kenneth Bae/North/South Korea story”
        You did. For example:
        “But here’s the thing … Dennis Rodman’s recent embrace of a murderous regime in North Korea is unforgivable. Rodman’s worst offense, among many, in an insane interview with CNN that I’m sure most have seen by now, was insinuating that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae, being held without charges in North Korea, was guilty of …something:
        And:
        “His comments to CNN were harmful to Bae’s family as they work to free him, his “apology” was needlessly insulting and his general involvement in North Korea is a completely unnecessary international relations distraction that was completely avoidable.”
        “I’m still waiting for the people being critical down here to actually mount a defense for what Rodman said.”
        I didn’t comment on Rodman. I feel no compulsion to defend him.
        My “Do enjoy the BB articles though” comment stands:)

  • Jan 10, 20148:17 am
    by Pistons87

    Reply

    Thanks for the article Patrick

  • Jan 10, 201410:56 am
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    Dennis Rodman has become a pathetic character, and that is sad.  Whether his addled state is due to drugs or mental illness is hard to say, although there are plenty of indicators that he never was too tightly wrapped.
     
    I don’t know what Kenneth Bae did in N. Korea, but I do know that any US citizen dumb enough to actually go there shouldn’t expect a great deal of sympathy.  It’s a little like sticking your hand in a fire and complaining about getting burned.

  • Jan 10, 20141:13 pm
    by PhilWR

    Reply

    Firstly, if I’m in Rodman’s shoes, I’m in Pyongyang, I’m not about to criticize Kim in Pyongyang, so how did Cuomo expect to get any kind of coherent answer on Bae. If Rodman responds “we’re hoping to get Bae”, Rodman is likely putting his life, and those of his associates, in serious jeopardy. I agree that he should have come up with something better, or a “I will not speak on that matter”-sorta reply. Why they even agreed to interview from Pyongyang was beyond me, they had to know they’d be getting questions they can’t possibly answer. 
    What could really turn this upside-down is if Rodman ultimately comes back with Bae. It may prove that you need a “crazy” to counter a “crazy” to get this sort of thing to work. He’s stayed behind in North Korea for now, not traveling with the team. Who knows why…I guess we’ll see…

    • Jan 10, 20149:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      If Rodman “comes back with Bae” and is some sort of secret diplomatic genius, I will obviously retract my post.

      • Jan 13, 20149:26 am
        by PhilWR

        Reply

        Fair enough, looks like he didn’t bring home Bae anyway, at least this time. Apparently he’s headed back up there in another month…the fun never ends. 
        At this point I wonder why he doesn’t just stay up there…it’s gotta cost a lot (especially with Paddy Power not backing him anymore) to make these trips. I have no idea of Rodman’s financial situation but I can’t imagine it’s that great, despite his celebrity. 

  • Jan 12, 20142:07 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I love Dennis Rodman the way I do certain members of Howard Stern’s whack pack and as such do not hold him responsible for his actions or criticize him.   I love him and I enjoy the comic aspect of how out of control and outrageous he is and I just hope that he doesn’t hurt someone for real or get in too much trouble.   He’s clearly been a crazy person since his early playing days and he’s only gotten crazier so to take his words and actions seriously is just making the worst of him when it doesn’t accomplish anything and you can take my opposite approach and accept the great entertainment value he provides.   
    BTW: Someone earlier said they stopped defending Rodman when he hurt Pippen with a dirty foul?   What kind of Pistons fan are you?   That kind of play runs like a loop in my head to make me smile.   

  • […] shouldn’t, right? What do I have to do with Dennis Rodman? Yet I found myself defending him in a Detroit Pistons blog comment section, almost against my conscious will (I’m […]

  • Feb 25, 20149:49 am
    by Ashley Strother

    Reply

    will dennis rodman’s behavior affect his earning potential? why or why not?

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here