Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, also known as "The Worm," was photographed at an airport in Beijing waiting to board a plane to North Korea. The former NBA star flew into Pyongyang on Tuesday, along with three Harlem Globetrotters and the media production team of VICE. The flamboyant NBA star has been noted by the Associated Press as "an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea." An official told the wire service that the U.S. State Department has not been consulted about the trip. VICE said the Americans hope to engage in a little “basketball diplomacy.’’ VICE founder Shane Smith told the AP that the basketball players may run a basketball camp for children and hope to play some games with North Korea's top athletes for a game Rodman said he hopes leader Kim Jong Un will attend. Smith said, "These channels of cultural communication might appear untraditional, and perhaps they are, but we think it’s important just to keep the lines open," he added, "and if Washington isn’t going to send their Generals then we’ll send our Globetrotters."
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Dennis Rodman won three championships.
The VICE media production of the players' trip to Pyongyang will air on HBO in April 2013. NPR has confirmed that this story is not a hoax or sourced from The Onion (remember "Kim Jong Un is the Sexiest Man in the World"?)—after all, the production is with VICE, who have already made two visits to North Korea and produced the VICE Guide to North Korea.
What do you think of Rodman's trip? Will the basketball diplomacy make a difference?