An old pair of Dennis Rodman Converse high-tops, the ones emblazoned with that weird sun shape, are somewhere in my Smithsonian called a garage.
I didn’t have Jordans. I had a pair of Rodmans. So you know, I have a passing appreciation for the style and basketball ability of the old Rodman.
That was the Rodman of the NBA. Not the UN.
Known as “The Worm,” Rodman was valued as a tough guy defender and rebounder. That’s all. He didn’t score points. Wasn’t his job.
That’s the way we should see him in his role as Diplomat Dennis.
The guy’s no Madeleine Albright.
And after his history making trip to North Korea, he’s certainly not scoring points for himself, or Kim Jong Un for that matter.
But he’s grabbed the media’s attention, and in doing so, he’s created the chance for us all to see what truth, if any, we can glean.
So much isn’t known about North Korea in the U.S., we can hardly stand it when even an aging pop/sports star gets a glimpse behind the curtain. No one gets that kind of access to the country or its leadership. With or without a jockstrap.
That’s why blasting Rodman for not knowing the contents of your standard CIA dossier or for his inability to recite the human rights violations of the North Korean government, just seems—to mix sports metaphors—like piling on.
It would be better to just ask him without judgment all that he saw. Dennis’ world is part fantasy, after all. I mean, the guy did date Madonna.
Instead of berating him for his ignorance of the evil of North Korea, because of his unique trip, we should be happy getting his different look of a country that’s generally under cover.
And then, most certainly, juxtapose it with what we know of the ongoing misery of a starving nation, and the refugee situation along the China border. Rodman doesn’t refute that. Rodman was never known for his articulation. Just by going there, he accents the contradictions in North Korea.
Remember Rodman was never the scorer. Just the rebounder. Kim Jong Un may be using Rodman. But this odd pairing, only puts the issues of the North Korean people back on the mainstream radar, where North Korea seems to come into focus only when it lets out a little steam with a nuclear test.
Now, thanks to Rodman, it’s time for the human rights activists and the North Korea specialists to make their points and score.
The Worm has done his job.
Remember, he’s no Madeleine Albright.