from a “worm” in the NBA to a diplomat

Five rings, a two-time All-Star and 14 seasons in the NBA. Dennis Rodman (New Jersey, USA; 1961) has earned his own right to be considered a basketball legend. He was known as “The Worm” and was one of the best wrestlers in history, but wherever he went, controversy followed.

Rodman is currently sixty years old, who has not lost this controversial dose and has transcended, even, even into politics. The reason is none other than the conflicting relationships he created throughout his life, being able to consider himself the only American “friend” of Kim Jong Unleader of North KoreaJ Vladimir Putinits counterpart in Russia.

In recent years, Rodman has become something of a diplomat for the United States. Only he is capable of “going out for drinks” with the supreme leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or make an express visit to the current greatest enemy of Joe Biden. That’s what the former armorer of Michael Jordan plans to do this week: travel to Russia to meet with Putin and convince him to release him Brittney Greenerstar of WNBA seized for possession of cannabis.

[Dennis Rodman y la noche que se emborrachó con Kim Jong-un: “Entró una banda de 18 chicas…”]

Rodman does not consider himself an ambassador for his country, but for basketball. In this context, he wants to go to Moscow, as he announced NBCnews: “I got permission to go to Russia to help this girl. I’m trying to go this week.” His speech made even more noise when it was revealed that he did not have the approval of the White House.

In fact, a US government official said immediately afterwards that her trip could complicate negotiations to release the center: “It is public knowledge that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians, and anything short of negotiations more through the established channel is likely to complicate and hindering release efforts,” he said.

American basketball player Brittney Griner in prison in Russia

American basketball player Brittney Griner in prison in Russia


The truth is that no one in the United States can deprive Rodman of this trip. The American side advises its citizens not to travel to Russia for various reasons, see the invasion of Ukraine or “unfair” detention a la Griner. But it doesn’t go beyond that, without the obligation to get permission there.

If Rodman says he has permission to go to Russia, it means Moscow has given the green light for his trip. With the help of a visa, the ex of Pistons or Taurus may soon be on Putin’s soil.

Putin, “a great man”

This would not be Rodman’s first time in Russia, nor even his first face-to-face meeting with Putin. In 2014, he traveled to the eastern side of the Europe, at the suggestion of the president himself. This visit was not political in nature, as he went there to “represent” his sport to the Russians: “I went there to represent the United States when it comes to basketball.”

He returned from that trip with a positive image of Putin, whom he said was a “great guy.” That Rodman has assured that he knows the Russian leader “well”, even raised a rumor that INC he wanted her to befriend him to “infiltrate” and cool the tension. This was shortly before the outbreak of the invasion of Ukraine and “the Greener case.”

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman


But Rodman is perceived that way even by intelligence agencies for a reason: his close relationship with Kim Jong-un. It started just like the “first time” with Putin, with a trip in 2013 as a basketball ambassador. Four years later, in 2017, he visited North Korea again.

He could never go as this ‘offer’ really came to him because Jordan turned him down before. Rodman received a lavish reception: a red carpet reception in front of 80 people… He then went to a pavilion and was amazed when 22,000 North Koreans rose to their feet at once to applaud a man he did not recognize. It was Kim Jong Un.

Party with Kim Jong Un

Rodman has sometimes recounted what happened when he met the Supreme Leader, who was thrilled by his presence. They had dinner and had fun drinking: “The next thing I remember is we’re having dinner and we’re drunk and he starts singing karaoke and I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about,” he told the boxing podcast years ago Mike Tyson.

But his visit ended up having another purpose, and that is that thanks to his affinity with Kim Jong-un, he was able to help free an American missionary. Kenneth Be he was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years in prison in North Korea, but was released a year later. Rodman, who sent a letter to his “friend” asking for mercy for Bae, is convinced that he played a part in the release of his countryman.

History repeats itself, and now Rodman has made it public that he wants to be involved in Griner’s release negotiations. The women’s basketball star was detained in Russia in February when airport authorities found vape cartridges containing hashish in her luggage. She has been held there ever since, denied the opportunity to return to her country.

Griner is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence. In the US, they are trying by all means to extradite him together with that of Paul Whelan, an American convicted two years ago of espionage. They offer a prisoner exchange for the Russian arms dealer Victor Booth. With no response from Russia, Rodman prepares to do his job.

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