Former NBA star Dennis Rodman says that something is “seriously wrong” if he isn’t a top contender for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
The five-time NBA champion became the first American to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un earlier this year when he visited the country as part of a Vice trip to film a documentary. While there he struck up quite a friendship with the North Korean leader and urged U.S. President Barack Obama to call Kim upon returning home.
In a new interview Rodman says that he believes he should be awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries. Why it's been left to me to smooth things over, I don't know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it's the black guy's [Obama’s] job. But I'll tell you this: If I don't finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something's seriously wrong,” Rodman told Sports Illustrated.
The worm, as Rodman is affectionately known as, further confided that “Before I landed in Pyongyang, I didn’t know Kim Jong-un from Lil’ Kim,” a reference to the rapper who got hKim er start in the Notorious B.I.G.’s Junior Mafia rap group. “I didn’t know what country he ruled or what went on in the country he ruled,” Rodman added.
Still, he continued to defend Kim Jong-Un.
“Fact is, he hasn't bombed anywhere he's threatened to yet. Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not … whatever. People say he's the worst guy in the world," said the basketball star turned international peacemaker. “All I know is Kim told me he doesn't want to go to war with America. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama. Unfortunately, Obama doesn't want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what's the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”
Rodman previously defended Kim during an appearance on the Sunday political talk show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
"He's a great guy. He's just a great guy," Rodman said of Kim Jong-Un at the time.
Following the appearance, which was widely ridiculed in the press, Rodman cancelled all subsequent media appearances about his trip to North Korea.
During the SI interview Rodman reaffirmed that he plans on returning to North Korea in August to vacation with Kim Jong-Un and his family. He first mentioned his return trip to Pyongyang in an interview in March.
Kim Jong-Un has a wife and one child.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded at the end of the year, usually sometime in November.