Rodman checks into rehab after North Korea return

Agent says retired basketball player participating in alcohol treatment programme

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) watches a basketball game between former US NBA basketball players and North Korean players with Dennis Rodman (R) at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium. Photograph: KCNA/Reuters.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) watches a basketball game between former US NBA basketball players and North Korean players with Dennis Rodman (R) at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium. Photograph: KCNA/Reuters.

Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 12:17

Retired basketball player Dennis Rodman has checked himself into an alcohol treatment programme, his spokesman said, just days after returning to the United States from North Korea.

During his visit to North Korea, Rodman ignited a controversy over comments he made about an American citizen held prisoner there.

Rodman voluntarily entered an alcohol rehabilitation facility several days ago, according to agent Darren Prince. The location of the facility was not disclosed.

The former Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls player returned to the United States this week after a trip to North Korea where he attended the birthday party of leader Kim Jong Un, who he describes as a friend.

Earlier this month, Rodman apologised for comments in which he suggested Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned by Pyongyang, had himself to blame for the arrest.

“It had been a very stressful day,” Rodman said earlier this month.

“My dreams of basketball diplomacy were quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed.”

Reuters