Ping pong diplomacy is a nice footnote in U.S. international relations. It was an example of sports helping thaw relationships and open the door to trade and bring around detente and a cooling (or warming?) of the Cold War. The idea of having exhibition matches between Americans and Chinese was a good one. A simple way to bring two people together.
So kudos to Dennis Rodman for trying.
Rodman came back from his second trip to North Korea to visit his "friend" Kim Jong Un with dreams of basketball diplomacy with the reclusive military leader from People's Republic of Korea. And, if you know Rodman, you know he dreams big.
Dennis Rodman returned from North Korea saying he hoped to get a group of All-Star and Hall of Fame players to head over to North Korea for an exhibition game of good will.
Gentleman, scholar and international diplomat Dennis Rodman says he’s been invited to bring a team of 12 former NBA players to play in a basketball tournament in North Korea early next year. Rodman, who recently returned from a second trip to North Korea to visit his buddy Kim Jong-un, said he would try and assemble a team that includes Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, among others, to play in the tournament, which is scheduled for next January and totally sounds real and not like the plot to a screwball 1980s comedy.
Whether Malone, Pippen and others would actually take up Rodman on this offer is an entirely separate matter. Whether the U.S. would actually endorse such an idea is an entirely new set of red tape to get through.
Then again, you can never figure out whether Dennis Rodman or Kim Jong Un are serious about anything. Rodman claims he is serious about this plan to have some sort of exhibition game in North Korea with former NBA players. In return, Rodman said Un would come to New York to watch a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
The odds of that happening right now are slim and none.
The odds of that happening any time soon are slim and none. Kim Jon Un and his country are not exactly none for their openness and friendliness with the U.S. despite these recent overtures with Rodman. Rodman is hardly a diplomat and hardly represents the U.S. in any formal capacity.