Props to CNN’s Chris Cuomo for not letting up on Dennis Rodman in this morning’s interview about his North Korea “basketball diplomacy” trip, especially when Rodman accused U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae of committing some sort of unspecified crime against the regime of Kim Jong-un.
The sad and awkward part of the interview — because we know Rodman is nutty — is the former NBA players flanking him, aware that they’re being offered as some sort of birthday gift to the dictator about to turn 31.
Charles D. Smith, who played with the Clippers, Knicks and Spurs over his career, tried to defuse the tension of the interview and pitch their case, but even he seemed unsure of what their case is. “What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it,” Smith told the Associated Press. “Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government.”
The AP also notes that some of the ex-players who followed Rodman have their own colorful pasts, and could be in need of the cash if that’s what Pyongyang dangled to get them there. They looked increasingly uncomfortable as Rodman’s apologist interview wore on.
Which brings us to the worst tweet of the Rodman trip:
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) January 6, 2014
And the most succinct:
Dennis Rodman says North Korea is “not that bad.” Dennis Rodman is deeply stupid.
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) January 6, 2014