Dennis Rodman’s dream team arrives in North Korea

Kim Jong-un, interpreter and Dennis Rodman.
Kim Jong-un, interpreter and Dennis Rodman.
Credit: Photo by Gavin Rodgers/REX (2185155h)

Kim Jong-Un may have executed his uncle last month but Dennis Rodman is not going to preach.

“I am not going to sit there and go in and say ‘hey guy, you’re doing the wrong thing,” the former NBA star said ahead of arriving in Pyongyang, where his all-star team will take on a host squad in an exhibition match on Thursday.

“The Worm” believes the game will do more for peace than discussion of labor camps and torture, and has persuaded several retired legends to join him.

Craig Hodges (53)

Then: Capable 3-point shooting specialist who won two NBA championship playing with Michael Jordan at the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s.
Now: Still in the game as coach of Halifax, Canada. Had to take time off in-season to make the trip.

Vin Baker (42)

Then: Skilled 6″11 (2.10m) center who starred in four All-Star teams and won gold with Team USA in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Now: Bounced back from crippling alcoholism to study divinity in the hope of becoming a pastor.

Doug Christie (43)

Then: Stalwart “glue guy” and defender for the star-packed Sacramento Kings of the early 2000s.
Now: Appearances on reality TV, charity work and produces porn movies with wife Jackie.

Charles D. Smith (48)

Then: 6″10 (2.08m) power forward of the New York Knicks averaged 14.4 points per game during his career, before knee injuries forced him to retire in 1997.
Now: Motivational speaker and sometime entrepreneur working in digital media.

Kenny Anderson (43)

Then: Vaunted point guard at college level who never lived up to his true potential at the pros. Picked in All Star Game 1994.
Now: Coaching career derailed by arrest for drink-driving. Made several reality TV appearances.

Cliff Robinson (47)

Then: Wiry 6″10 (2.08m) forward combined physicality and finesse as one of the league’s tallest legitimate 3-point shooters. Won an All Star game berth in 1994.
Now: Runs a philanthropy network with various media appearances.

The opposition

Rodman himself picked the 12-man squad from trials featuring current national team players. “Very quick and good shooters,” according to a sponsor source present at the trials, although the North Korean players will be an average six inches (15.2 cm) shorter than the Americans.

Basketball diplomacy?

Supporters of the tour believe North Korean and US sports fans will be exposed to the other’s culture, which is normally impossible while they are officially at war. But Korea expert Dr. Aidan Foster-Carter of Leeds University, UK, believes it is “pure self-indulgence for both parties…with no value in diplomacy.”

It is not the first time North Korea has attempted to improve its image with sport – a Japanese wrestler was recently a guest of Jong-Un’s executed uncle Jang Song Thaek. The hosts may be unwilling to risk defeat; “I wouldn’t be surprised if they rig it,” says Foster-Carter.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…