Rodman in Pyongyang in December.
Dennis Rodman has recruited more former NBA players to join one of his so-called “basketball diplomacy” trips to North Korea, the AP reports.
Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Doug Christie, Craig Hodges, and Charles D. Smith will play against “a top North Korean Senior National team” on Jan. 8 to celebrate Kim Jong Un’s birthday. The North Korean leader most recently made headlines for ordering the execution of his uncle and apparent political rival, Jang Song Thaek, last month.
The group of players have a colorful collective history. Anderson has appeared on the reality show Basketball Wives and recently starred in a theatrical event called The Penis Monologues. Robinson has appeared on Real Housewives Of New Jersey and may be a contestant on the next season of Survivor. Baker, a self-described alcoholic, was an All-Star who notoriously drank himself out of the league; as of last year, he was reportedly enrolled at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Doug Christie and his wife Jackie were featured on the BET J series The Christies Committed, and his wife appears on Basketball Wives: LA. (Christie is known for avoiding conversations and eye contact with women besides Jackie.) And Hodges, who was in recent years an assistant on Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff, unsuccessfully sued the NBA in 1996, alleging that the league had blackballed him because of his political outspokenness and association with Louis Farrakhan.
- Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He got 133 votes in New Hampshire.
- MLB issued its first-ever lifetime ban for performance enhancing drugs to New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia.
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