News

Dennis Rodman: ‘Take me’ instead of Kenneth Bae

Dennis Rodman: ‘Take me’ instead of Kenneth Bae

TAKE ME: Dennis Rodman, seen here during his recent trip to North Korea, says he would trade places with American Kenneth Bae. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former basketball star Dennis Rodman said on Friday he was willing to trade places with Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, the next time he visits his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Rodman, in a live interview with CNN from a substance abuse rehabilitation facility in the New York City area, said he felt sympathy for Bae’s family.

Earlier this month, an agitated, drunken Rodman gave an interview with CNN from North Korea in which he suggested that Bae was responsible for his imprisonment.

Rodman, who has made four trips to North Korea, said he knew nothing of Bae’s case when he first mentioned him – and still does not.

“I have sympathy – I don’t want anyone in any country or anywhere in the world to be hostage for something maybe they did or did not do,” Rodman said in Friday’s interview.

PHOTOS: Dennis Rodman through the years | Dennis Rodman’s North Korean basketball game 

“I would do anything … if they said, ‘We’ll take Dennis Rodman and we’ll let Kenneth Bae go’, you know what? I’d do that, straight ahead. Take me. I would do that.”

He also offered to take his CNN interviewer, Chris Cuomo, to North Korea with him.

Bae was detained in North Korea in 2012 while leading a tour group and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for subversion.

Rodman was one of the National Basketball Association’s top rebounders during his 1986-2000 career and earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.

He played for five teams and his flamboyant personality, tattoos, body piercings and multi-colored hair at times outshone his skills.

On his January trip Rodman took a contingent of other former NBA players for an exhibition game in Pyongyang. He sang “Happy Birthday” at a celebration marking the 31st birthday of Kim, who he called his best friend and a great leader.

Rodman checked into the rehab center shortly after returning from North Korea earlier this month.

(Reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Red Sox spend on Sandoval, Ramirez to shake cellar

Fresh
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez hits a sixth inning rbi double in Game 3 of baseball's NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in St. Louis.

The Red Sox are hoping to spend their way out of the AL East cellar with two big free agent signings.

in Sports

Browns QB Manziel involved in hotel fight

Fresh
Johnny Manziel

Police were called to The Metropolitan at The 9, where Manziel has a luxury apartment, after a fight broke out at 2:25 a.m. Saturday.

in Sports

No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

Fresh
Kentucky players wait to enter the game against Montana State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 86-28.

The impressive performances this week allowed Kentucky to consolidate its spot atop the AP poll on Monday, earning all but three votes from the 65-member media panel.

in Local Sports

Former Mariner Randy Johnson among 17 newcomers on 2015 HOF ballot

Fresh
Seattle Mariner pitcher Randy Johnson throws against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of game six of the ALCS in Seattle Tuesday Oct. 17, 1995.

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on baseball's Hall of Fame ballot announced Monday

in Local Sports

WWU women’s hoops: Peacocke named GNAC co-Player of the Week

Fresh
WWU hoops

Sophomore earns all-tourney honors at West Region Crossover Classic