NBA Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman is in North Korea right now.
File that under THG Headlines You Didn’t See Coming This Morning.
Rodman, along with three current members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, are apparently filming a TV show for a US media company.
The company said they hope engage in some “basketball diplomacy.”
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, who just oversaw the country’s recent nuclear test, is known to be a big basketball fan. So … can’t hurt, we suppose?
Shane Smith, the founder of U.S. media company Vice, says:
“Is sending members of the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] strange? In a word, yes.”
“But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing.
“These channels of cultural communication might appear untraditional, and perhaps they are, but we think it’s important just to keep the lines open.”
As the delegation arrived at Pyongyang’s airport, Rodman said:
”It’s my first time, I think it’s most of these guys’ first time here, so hopefully everything’s going to be OK, and hoping the kids have a good time for the game.”
Bull Bullard, one of the three Harlem Globetrotters on the tour, said they were hoping to teach North Koreans some of the team’s signature basketball skills:
“We’re going to teach them, we’re going to show them what we do,… a lot of magic with the basketball, a lot of wizardry, a lot of fun and entertainment.”
It was not clear exactly what the players would be doing while in North Korea, but Vice promises “documentary style news reports from around the world.”
Rodman, a Hall of Fame member, is as famous for his tattoos, piercings and cross-dressing as he is for his rebounding titles and five NBA championships.
He used to play for the Chicago Bulls which, according to a memoir by Kim Jong-un’s former sushi chef, was his favorite team as a young man.
Rodman and his group will be in the country until March 5.