Dennis Rodman racked up many awards on the court during his Hall of Fame playing career in the NBA, most notably claiming Defensive Player of the Year twice and being a five-time champion. Off the court, he hasn’t been as successful, but he’s hoping his recent peacemaking efforts won’t go unnoticed by the Nobel Committee.
Rodman recently traveled with the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea and eventually met with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, and the former Pistons and Bulls star thinks he should get some rather lofty recognition for trying to mend the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman told Sports Illustrated. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [President Barack Obama's] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.”
Rodman claims that Jong Un, whom he considers his “friend for life,” just wants to talk basketball with Obama, and he doesn’t consider the North Korean leader a threat to the U.S.
“People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America,” Rodman said. “His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama. Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what’s the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”
Obama reaching out to Jong Un and Rodman winning a Nobel Peace Prize might seem unlikely, but that’s not stopping Rodman from at least trying. The 52-year-old told SI that he plans to visit North Korea again in August to meet with Jong Un.
“I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman said.