North Korea may have Dennis Rodman to thank if it can qualify a basketball team into the Olympics for the first time in 2016.
The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, asked Rodman to train his nation’s players, according to The Associated Press.
Rodman would seem to have his work cut out for him. North Korea didn’t even take part in this year’s FIBA Asia Championships, a qualifier for the 2014 World Championships, which are now called the World Cup. It did make the quarterfinals of the 2010 Asian Games.
FIBA ranks 84 basketball-playing nations. North Korea is not one of them.
FIBA explains why at the bottom of its rankings:
“The countries not listed above have all 0 points and are therefore all positioned, with the same rank, after the last country mentioned.”
It wasn’t the leader’s only request of Rodman, 52, the bizarre longtime NBA rebound king who never participated in the Olympics.
Check this line from the AP:
Rodman, holding a cigar and wearing the shirt of a vodka company and a hat of a betting one that is funding the event, says Kim Jong Un also offered to allow the Hall of Famer to write a book about him.
Rodman, who has visited Kim twice in North Korea, announced another planned trip in January to stage two exhibition basketball games. He hopes to have stars such as Dream Team Olympians Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone will play, according to the AP.