News

Dennis Rodman to train Korean basketball team

Dennis Rodman to train Korean basketball team

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks to the media during a news conference in New York, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. Rodman is going back to North Korea, and he says he will bring a team of former NBA players with him. Days after returning from his second trip to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Rodman announced plans to stage two exhibition games there in January. Photo: Associated Press/John Minchillo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former NBA player Dennis Rodman will train a North Korean basketball team that will play a pair of exhibitions against a U.S. team in the isolated country in January, Rodman said on Monday following his second visit to North Korea this year.

Rodman also told a news conference North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “wants to change” and said he would conduct the first-ever television interview with Kim, a man Rodman has called a friend.

Rodman met with Kim in North Korea during his five-day trip that ended on Saturday. It followed a four-day visit in February, shortly after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

Rodman said he was going back to North Korea for a week in December to assemble a North Korean team and train it for two games against an American team on January 8, Kim’s birthday, and January 10. He did not identify the teams.

Kim’s date of birth remains publicly unconfirmed and he is believed to be 30.

Succeeding his father and grandfather as leader of the secretive and impoverished Asian country, Kim has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test in February, which drew condemnation from around the world.

At that time North Korea said the test had “greater explosive force” than those it conducted in 2006 and 2009.

The goal of the games was “to open doors,” said Rodman, an expert rebounder and defensive player who won NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls and was known for his flamboyant hair styles, cross-dressing and relationship with Madonna.

“This country is not bad because the marshal (Kim), now, he wants to change,” Rodman, 52, said of Kim. “If you meet the marshal over there, he’s a very good guy.”

According to Rodman, Kim told him: “I want you to go over to America and say, ‘Guess what?’ We want people to come over here because we’re not a bad country.'”

Latest Stories

9 mins ago in Sports

Congressman charges NFL with wrongdoing

Fresh
pallone1614461738670

A senior House Democrat has found that National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

27 mins ago in Sports

Tom Brady continues his fight with NFL

Fresh
25-overlay-6

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law.

32 mins ago in Entertainment

Tyler Perry moving to a farm

Fresh
tylerperry942732378140

The actor and filmmaker is planning to turn his new home in Georgia into a farm after cashing in on the record-breaking sale of his Atlanta mansion.

41 mins ago in National

Hawaii could be first to put gun owners in federal database

Fresh
hawaiigunrestrictions16134856688305

Hawaii could become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

44 mins ago in Sports

Pavelski, Ward carry Sharks within a win of finals

Fresh
sharksbluesREUTERS

Joe Pavelski scored his second goal of the game 16 seconds into the third period as the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Monday to put them one win away from their first Stanley Cup finals.