The "birthday present," as Rodman calls it, will benefit a charity for the deaf in North Korea. Rodman has famously made two trips to the secretive country, one of which included a one-on-one visit with Kim Jong Un, who Rodman has called his "friend for life."
Two former Trail Blazers have joined Rodman and a group of ex-NBA All-Stars for the game. One of the former Trail Blazers, Clifford Robinson, played the first eight seasons of his career for Portland, from 1989 to 1997. Robinson was a fan favorite during his years in the Rose City.
The other former Trail Blazer, Kenny Anderson, played just one season for Portland (1996-97.)
Rodmans' team also includes Vin Baker, Eric Floyd, Doug Christie, and Charles D. Smith. Four streetball players make out the rest of the roster. Rodman's group will compete against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday. At halftime, however, the teams will be mixed, and some of the North Koreans will play on the same team as some of the ex-NBA players.
Rodman has refused to approach Kim Jong Un and discuss the relations between the United States and North Korea, and he has also refused to discuss Kenneth Bae, an American who is currently serving a 15-year hard labor sentence in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with Kim Jong Un. Despite receiving death threats from multiple people for his trips to North Korea, Rodman told the Associated Press on Monday that he's glad to be there.
"I'm not a president, I'm not a politician, I'm not an ambassador," Rodman said before arriving. "I'm just an athlete and the reason for me to go is to bring peace to the world, that's it. That's all I want, no money. I want no money, no money."
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