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Dennis Rodman Believes He Can Fix The NBA China Situation
CENTURY CITY, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Former NBA great Dennis Rodman attends the launch of fitness celebrity Jennifer Cohen's "Habits And Hustle" podcast at Westfield Century City on March 10, 2019 in Century City, California.
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

He’s been an ambassador to North Korea and now he believes he can be an ambassador to China.

In response to the uproar over the NBA censoring Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey after he angered China in his public support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, the Hall of Fame basketball player proposed that he serve as the NBA’s liaison to the Communist country.

In a video posted to Twitter, Rodman, in a “Make America Great Again” hat, shared photos of himself alongside North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Trump and asked NBA commissioner Adam Silver to send him to Shanghai.

“Commissioner Adam Silver, I know a thing or two about diplomacy. Book me a ticket to Shanghai with you. Ambassador Rodman,” he says in the video.

Rodman’s plea to become the NBA’s unofficial Chinese ambassador follows a controversial decision by the basketball association to apologize to the Chinese government in the wake of Daryl Morey’s support for Hong Kong.

“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable,” NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass said in a statement Sunday. “While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”

Daryl Morey subsequently deleted his tweet and apologized for having offended the Chinese people. “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China,” he tweeted. “I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”

Rodman, who has visited North Korea on several occasions and even refers to Kim Jong Un as his “friend,” has been an outspoken supporter of Trump’s North Korea policy.

In response to the ongoing backlash over the NBA’s actions, commissioner Adam Silver said on Tuesday that the NBA “will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.”

“It is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues,” Silver said in the statement. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences. This is about far more than growing our business … values of equality, respect and freedom of expression have long defined the NBA — and will continue to do so. As an American-based basketball league operating globally, among our greatest contributions are these values of the game.”

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