MIAMI — Dennis Rodman's latest trip to North Korea is generating no support from the NBA and the league's retired players association, both of whom made it clear they had nothing to do with the venture.
Rodman took a group of about a half-dozen retired NBA players to North Korea this week for a game that's intended to be a birthday present of sorts for Kim Jong Un, the nation's leader who is expected to attend. Kim's human rights record and North Korea's history when it comes to developing nuclear weapons are widely criticized globally.
The National Basketball Retired Players Association "denounced" the trip and the game scheduled to be played today.
"While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate... it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA and is not supported by our organization in any way," said Otis Birdsong, the NBRPA's chairman. "Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances."
NBA commissioner David Stern was clear, though diplomatic, in his remarks about Rodman's venture.
"The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodman's North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department," Stern said. "Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them."
The State Department has recommended U.S. citizens not try to enter North Korea, with at least six Americans -- including two with valid visas issued by that country — having been arrested there since 2009.
-- The Associated Press