Dennis Rodman has vowed to never return to North Korea again. The controversial former NBA star has infuriated Americans with his four “basketball diplomacy” trips for North Korean tyrant Kim-Jong Un, but said he had nothing but pure motives in organizing the exhibition games.
“At least someone tried. So that’s how I look at it. I don’t want to be a hero…I just wanted to be, just do happy things and do great things in life. That’s all I wanted to do. That’s it,” he said. “I don’t want people to look at me as the devil or evil person. If I put anyone in harm’s way, I apologize, you know. If you don’t want me to go back there ever again, I won’t go back.”
The most shocking part of Rodman’s trip to North Korea last January was his drunken interview with CNN, in which he insinuated that Kenneth Bae, an American sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp for acts of “treason,” had done something to deserve his sentence. North Korean media outlets also reported on his drunken behavior and said he “vomited and defecated” in the hallway of his hotel. Rodman later apologized, blamed booze for his boorish behavior and checked into an inpatient rehab facility for three weeks.
What was potentially a historical and monumental event turned into a nightmare for everyone concerned. Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in rough shape emotionally,” said his agent, Dennis Prince. “The pressure that was put on him to be a combination ‘super human’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him. He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.”
Although Rodman won’t return to North Korea, he said he still considered Kim to be a friend. “I know truly in my heart’s something [good is] going to happen,” said Rodman. “If it does happen, watch all of these people kiss my ass.”