June 19, 2018
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Dennis Rodman enters alcohol rehab center upon return from N. Korea

Retired U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists upon his arrival from North Korea's Pyongyang at Beijing Capital International Airport in this file photo taken January 13, 2014. Rodman has checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center after recently returning from North Korea, according to news reports.
By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center after facing criticism from his most recent visit to North Korea, according to CNN.

Rodman reportedly entered a one-month treatment center in New Jersey on Wednesday.

“Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination ‘superhuman’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him,” his agent, Darren Prince, said in a statement Sunday. “He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.”

Prince said Rodman drank heavily during the North Korea trip in which former NBA stars played a basketball game against the regime’s national team members.

“His drinking escalated to a level that none of us had seen before,” Prince said Saturday.

Rodman, who won five NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, blamed alcohol for comments he made on CNN earlier this month about an American imprisoned in North Korea since 2012. He said Kenneth Bae’s prison sentence of 15 years’ hard labor may have been deserved.

After Bae’s family complained, Rodman apologized. He attributed his comments to alcohol and stress.

Rodman has faced much scrutiny for his “basketball diplomacy” in North Korea, a secretive country that has been accused of operating a brutal regime. The 52-year-old led a team of former NBA players in the recent exhibition game as a “birthday present” for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and sang “Happy Birthday” to him in the crowded arena before the game.

Rodman was heavily criticized for his friendship with Kim after he returned from North Korea.

“I’m not the president,” he said at the Beijing airport on his way to the U.S. “I’m not an ambassador. I’m Dennis Rodman.”

He also said “I’m sorry for what’s going on in North Korea, the certain situations.”

Prince said Sunday that Rodman’s trips to North Korea were paid by sponsors.

Rodman also visited North Korea in February 2013 with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.


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