Former NBA star Dennis Rodman and a crew of other basketball players are preparing to take the court in front of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
Wednesday Rodman got upset during an interview with CNN specifically about Korean-American, Kenneth Bae, who’s being detained in North Korea right now.
“I…I got it. Let me do this,” Rodman said.
The outburst from former NBA star Dennis Rodman shocked the family of Kenneth Bae.
“…just outraged; we couldn’t believe our ears,” Terri Chung said, Kenneth Bae’s sister.
Bae is an American citizen who was detained in North Korea 14 months ago and placed in a labor camp.
He’s suffered a series of health problems and has since been transferred to a hospital.
In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Rodman suggested Bae had done something wrong to deserve the imprisonment but didn’t specify what.
Rodman: “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did, do you understand what he did…?”
Cuomo: “What did he do? You tell me.”
Rodman: “…in this country?”
Cuomo: “You tell me. What did he do?”
Rodman: “Oh, no no no. You tell me. You tell me.”
Bae’s sister said rodman could have advocated for her brother’s release.
“But then, instead, he has chosen to hurl these outrageous accusations against Kenneth,” she said.
During previous trips, Rodman has appeared publicly at the side of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, calling him, “a friend.”
He and the other players said they’re focused on cultural exchange not politics.
But NBA commissioner David Stern said they weren’t thinking about the political ramifications — just a big payday.
“You know, Dennis will be Dennis, but I think there is a lot at stake here in terms of a country that…a very dangerous country.”
Something the family of Kenneth Bae knows all too well.
“This isn’t some game, this is about a person’s life,” she said. “Father of three, a son and a brother and a husband.”