Eighteen years ago, Dennis Rodman appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time with a parrot on his tattoed arm. This week, Sports Illustrated unveiled the cover for its upcoming "Where Are They Now" issue and paid homage to that first Rodman cover by replacing the parrot with an American Eagle spreading its wings and a headline that reads, "Free Bird: Dennis Rodman Tries To Save The World One After-Party At A Time."
That sound you hear when you walk past the newstand this week will be nationwide groans. It shouldn't be that hard to find Rodman. He's been everywhere from North Korea to the Sunday political talk show scene and now the cover of SI. Hopefully, this week's cover will be the last we hear from him for a while. Unfortunately, based on excerpts he's primed to ride this wave of populatiry until it dies out.
“Fact is, he hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet. Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not … whatever. People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama. Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what’s the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”
Rodman plans to return to North Korea in August. “I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman says. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.” The Korean-American missionary was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges that he tried to topple the North Korean regime. He’d organized tours into the isolated state.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman says. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [Obama's] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.”