Five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman wants to add another trophy to his collection: the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Washington Times reports Rodman, in an interview appearing in the current issue of Sports Illustrated, lays out the reasons behind his controversial trip to North Korea and his belief that he should be in the running for this most prestigious honor.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman said.
“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 (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 spent time in Pyongyang with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un earlier this year.
He admits he knew very little about Kim, who he now calls a “friend for life” or the East Asian country when his trip began.
“I didn’t know Kim Jong-un from Lil’ Kim,” Rodman said.
“I didn’t know what country he ruled or what went on in the country he ruled.”
Rodman contends the motives of the North Korean leader are misunderstood and what Kim wants most is to sit down with President Obama and talk hoops.
“Fact is, (Kim) hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet,” Rodman said.
“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. 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.”
Rodman is set to return to North Korea in August, where he’ll “chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family.”
The Washington Post reports Rodman will take up a more serious matter with Kim.
“I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.”
Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was sentenced in April to 15 years of hard labor for what North Korea claims are crimes against the state.