Dennis Rodman may be losing the locker room full of NBA old-timers he brought to North Korea, especially after a TV appearance that went over like an air ball at the buzzer.
Onetime NBA star Charles Smith, a 6 foot, 10 inch tall center who had a stellar career with three teams, said the 10-member team of retired players' planning to play an exhibition game Wednesday against a team of North Koreans has become "dwarfed" by the spectacle that is Rodman.
"What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it," Smith, 48, told The Associated Press. "Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government."
Smith's comments came after a bizarre TV appearance in which he and other former stars including Vin Baker, Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson sat behind Rodman as he tried to defend the trip to the communist dictatorship.
"You have 10 guys here, 10 guys who have left their damn families to help this country in a sports venture," Rodman shouted at CNN's Chris Cuomo, when asked about North Korea's abysmal human rights record.
"Kenneth Bae did one thing," an angry Rodman shouted, as he waved a cigar at the camera. "If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this."