Dennis Rodman was on CNN Tuesday morning, along with the former NBA players he took with him to Pyongyang, North Korea, in a supposed attempt to
stay relevant unite the free world and Kim Jong-un with basketball.
But Rodman flipped out during the live televised interview when CNN's Chris Cuomo pressed him and his crew on all the criticism and backlash he's received for palling around with a murderous dictator.
Rodman and the mostly forgotten former NBAers, including Vin Baker, Cliff Robinson, Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, Doug Christie, Charles Smith, and Kenny Anderson, are in North Korea to play an exhibition game with the national team. The former Chicago Bull called the whole affair a "great idea for the world."
On Monday, Rodman addressed the media, pumping up the trip as some kind of history-altering trek that will supposedly open doors with North Korea and talking in the third person, just like all the great figures of history have done.
"The marshal is actually trying to change this country in a great way," Rodman said of Kim, using the leader's official title. "I think that people thought that this was a joke and Dennis Rodman is just doing this because fame and fortune." Instead, he said, he sees the game as a "birthday present" for Kim and his country.
"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 said. "I hope people will have a different view about North Korea."
During Tuesday morning's CNN interview, however, Rodman was subdued. He sat back with a cigar and, for some reason, let Charles Smith be the group's mouthpiece.
But when Cuomo pressed on the political issues and the sensitivity of Rodman's self-imposed ambassadorship and friendship with a dictator who literally, just a few weeks ago, murdered his own uncle, and the fact that North Korea has been holding American citizen Kenneth Bae in prison on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, Rodman suddenly lost his shit.
"The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand -- if you understand what Kenneth Bae did," an emotionally flustered Rodman said to Cuomo. "Do you understand what he did? In this country?"
"What did he do?" Cuomo asked. "You tell me."
"You tell me," Rodman said. "You tell me. Why is he held captive?"
Cuomo tried to keep the Bae debate going, but the emotionally flustered Rodman interrupted him, poking a cigar in the air and yelling at Cuomo to look at the NBA guys he was with.
When Cuomo tried to keep things from derailing, Rodman unleashed the go-to for all diplomats looking to ease international tension.
"I don't give a rat's ass what you think," he said.
Rodman then tried to paint the former NBA players going to North Korea as some kind of sacrifice that will be met only with scorn and abuse once they return. Sort of like Vietnam Vets back in the day. Except with tats, nose rings, and middle-aged former professional basketball players.
And then he said more things.
Dennis Rodman is quite stately and dignified, when you think about it. John Kerry should seriously be worried about his job.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!