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.’”

Recent Stories

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Connor Corum, left, and Greg Kinnear in a scene from "Heaven Is For Real."

In Entertainment

REVIEW: Cast keeps 'Heaven Is for Real' grounded

Based on the true story described in the best-selling book, the film introduces us to a four year old boy who says he went to heaven.

davegrohl

In Music

Nirvana stars relieved by Hall of Fame finale failure

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were just fine with the way the Rock Hall inductions ended.

robinwilliams

In Entertainment

Could we soon see 'Mrs. Doubtfire 2?'

This could be the sequel we've been waiting for.

poehler

In Entertainment

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett officially file for divorce

Though they've been separated since 2012, we're sad to see one of Hollywood's funniest couples split.

washington

In Music

Singer Chris Brown's bodyguard goes on trial in DC

The singer's bodyguard is on trial on assault charges, a case that will be a preview for the musician's own trial.