It’s been a busy year for Dennis Rodman, the former NBA bad-boy-turned-diplomat.
He’s traveled to North Korea. He’s talked with Kim Jong Un and pronounced him a “friend for life.” He’s gone to Vatican City and kindly offered to assist with the selection of a new pope. All of which leads him to one conclusion: He should win the Nobel Peace Prize, like some sort of blond, pierced, tattoed version of, oh, Jimmy Carter or Al Gore.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman told Sports Illustrated in an interview for its annual “Where are they now?” issue. “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 [that would be President Obama] 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, who said in March that “I want to be anywhere in the world that I’m needed,” plans to return to North Korea next month.
“I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman said. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.”
Bae, a Korean-American missionary, has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what North Korea claims are crimes against the state.
“Fact is, [Kim] hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet. Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not … whatever. 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. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama,” Rodman said. “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.”