Dennis Rodman Holds Tryouts For North Korea Basketball Team

The former NBA star is training the North Korean team for a tournament scheduled for Jan. 8

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Dennis Rodman held tryouts Friday for the North Korean basketball team that will face off against former NBA players next month. The game is a part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s birthday celebration, with whom the former Chicago Bulls star has formed an unlikely friendship.

Rodman told the Associated Press that some of the 12 Americans he’s trying to convince to play in the Jan. 8 tournament are apprehensive. He says he tells them it’s “all love” in the isolated country, where Kim’s uncle was executed and called a “traitor” and “worse than a dog” last week.

“I understand what’s going on with the political stuff, and I say, I don’t go into that venture,” Rodman said. “I’m just doing one thing for these kids here, and for this country, and for my country, and for the world pretty much.”

This is Rodman’s third trip to the country since he traveled there in February . He told the AP the goal of the game is unity.

“It’s not about win or loss. It’s about one thing — unite two countries,” Rodman said.