Dennis Rodman In The News Again

Surely, you have read about or seen the rantings and ravings of Dennis Rodman in an interview with CNN yesterday. The interviewer was trying to ask Rodman about things that he might ask of his buddy, North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, regarding an American missionary held in North Korea for crimes against that state. At that point, Rodman veered off into an orbit destined to have him visit the Xygork Nebula in a few decades.

So far, the commentary I have read and heard seems to miss the fundamental point here. The CNN interviewer made the same mistake that George Stephanopoulos made about a year ago when Stephanopoulos interviewed Rodman on a Sunday morning’s This Week after Rodman’s first visit to North Korea. These interviewers are trying to get Dennis Rodman to talk about geopolitics, nuclear proliferation issues, repression and subjects of that ilk. I am hard pressed to think of a half-dozen people who would be less prepared to hold such a discussion. Dennis Rodman was/is good at two things:

    1. He was an excellent basketball player whose rebounding and defensive skills were sufficient to get him into the Hall of Fame.

    2. He is extraordinarily good at promoting Dennis Rodman as an “off-center” celebrity.

Please note, he is not a political scientist; nor is he a student of international relations. Asking him about those kinds of subjects would not be any more outrageous than asking him about the insights derived from Super String Theory on the subject of graviton interactions. People nominally skilled at interviewing should know better than to ask a subject to expound on something he knows nothing about.

    Memo to the “Mainstream Media”:

    1. When Rodman and his cohort of former NBA players play their game against a team of North Korean players, report on the game and who was there and how much fun everyone had.

    2. Resolve never again to ask Dennis Rodman any questions related to the politics or the society of North Korea. If you ever do that again, you will demonstrate the same lack of knowledge that Rodman has. yesterday reported that the FBI was investigating two basketball players from UTEP. Supposedly, the two players are ones that were suspended from the team in December for “violation of team rules”. The coach, Tim Floyd, and the school would not comment. However, today reports:

“Three players have been kicked off UTEP’s basketball team after gambling allegations forced the school’s hand to report the alleged nefarious behavior to local FBI offices.”

UTEP officials insist that the players did not bet on UTEP games and that there is no evidence of point shaving. The full report is here and it is worth reading.

While on the subject of gambling, here is an example of why any kind of legislation to ban gambling is doomed to failure. People will find ways to gamble and people will bet on just about anything. If you think I am kidding, consider that the impending marriage between Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki is the subject of a ton of prop bets at an online betting site called Paddy Power. Here are a few of the prop bets one might consider:

    When will the wedding happen?

      2014: odds of 11 to 8
      2015: odds of 4 to 5
      2016 or later: odds of 6-1

    Where will the wedding happen?

      Denmark: odds of 5 to 6
      Ireland: odds of 2-1
      France: odds of 6-1
      Italy: odds of 8-1
      Australia: odds of 12-1

    “Specials” include:

      They have a baby by the end of 2015: odds of 5 to 4
      They will sell their wedding photos to Hello magazine: odds 10-1
      The wedding dress designer will be: there are 14 options here with the longest odds being on Nike as the designer at 500-1.

I am a bit surprised that there is not an OVER/UNDER line on the number of bottles of champagne that will be consumed at the wedding reception…

Finally, since Ms. Wozniacki is a tennis player, here is how noted tennis coach/instructor Vic Braden describes a person’s capability to learn to play tennis:

“My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren’t as good.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Alan  On January 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I have to disagree with your comments re. journalists questioning Rodman. If Rodman was just an ex-basketball player doing a goodwill game with NK, then I would agree. But when he’s been going around for months saying what a great guy Un is, then it’s fair game to quiz him about the reasons that 99.999% of the rest of the world thinks he’s an evil despot. Try to get him to respond as to why he thinks differently. To let a famous person with a significant “media voice” have his statements go unchallenged because you (and I and most everyone else) think he’s an idiot is not good journalism, in my opinion.

    Challenge the idiots with facts and let them expose their ignorance in their own words.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 9, 2014 at 8:44 am


      Welcome aboard.

      My problem is that journalists are treating Dennis Rodman the way they would treat a Cabinet member in the manner of their questioning. It only takes about 3 sentences out of his mouth to recognize that he has no framework of understanding to shed light on his different view of Kim Jong-un – other than “He loves basketball, man.” His “significant media voice” to which you refer is enabled by the kinds of interviews I have seen on CNN and ABC. If Dennis Rodman were to host/chair/organize a seminar on North Korean relations, I doubt many folks would show up – other than a bunch of guys with TV cameras looking for him to do/say something outrageous.

      We can agree to disagree on this point. Nonetheless, welcome and please comment again.

  • Ed  On January 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Don’t assume the questioner is that bright either – CNN IS the network that had an anchor ask if global warming was causing asteroid near misses…

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am


      I am glad I missed that one. Had I heard that one, I probably would have spent an entire weekend in the fetal position weeping for the future of humankind…

  • Doug  On January 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Rodman has nothing to say about politics that I find interesting or informative. But, I must say, that is also true of many of our politicians.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 9, 2014 at 8:48 am


      My disdain for most politicians – particularly those in the US Congress – is hardly a secret. Nevertheless, I would rather listen to a bunch of Congressthings stick to their talking points and avoid answering direct questions than listen to Dennis Rodman expound on geopolitics. I would prefer to engage in neither of those two activities, but the “Rodman experience” would be lower on my interest scale.

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