Dennis Rodman: Putin's a 'Cool Guy'

By Retail FOXBusiness

Just call him Dennis Rodman, "Basketball Ambassador."

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In an interview with FOX Business’ Melissa Francis on Tuesday, the chum to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un dished about his latest round of hard court diplomacy. This time, the NBA Hall of Famer paid a visit to Russia, a nation currently wrapped up in diplomatic tensions with the United States over a spat of issues, including turmoil in Ukraine. The trip was at the request of Russian President Vladmir Putin, whom Rodman described as a "cool guy."

But Rodman, a five-time NBA champion, was quick to point out that the trip had nothing to do with politics.

“They don’t know about American basketball, American football,” Rodman said. “I went over there to represent America as far as basketball is concerned.”

Rodman echoed that feeling when asked about his past visits to the hermit kingdom of North Korea.

“I said it from day one and I’ll say this still today: I’m not a politician, I’m just a basketball ambassador. That’s it,” Rodman told FOX Business.

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He mentioned that he has not spoken with Kim Jong Un in about nine months.

Rodman hopes that lines of communication will open up in the future between the U.S. and North Korea, although he made no mention of the long list of human rights violations leveled against the nation, which, according to Transparency International, is tied with Somalia as the most corrupt country in the world.

Rodman appeared on Money with Melissa Francis alongside Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner to promote the sports memorabilia giant’s new line of “In Their Own Words” collectibles.

The two-time NBA All-Star appeared on-set wearing a throwback Phil Jackson jersey from his playing days with the New York Knicks. 

“I’m trying to give him some luck right now because the Knicks need it,” Rodman said.

Jackson is currently the Knicks organization’s president. The New York Knicks are 4-18 so far this season.

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