Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

A look at the players who followed Rodman to North Korea

Say these things for Dennis Rodman: He likes going to North Korea, and he likes bringing a bit of a sideshow with him.

Last year, it was the Harlem Globetrotters.

This year, it's, well, should we call them the Rodmaneers?

Some of the six former NBA players who accompanied Rodman on this trip with plans for a game against North Korean players on Wednesday — the day believed to be the birthday of the nation's leader, Kim Jong Un — have what might best be described as colorful pasts, often caused by some major financial difficulties.

There's a father of seven kids by five different women. The former high school coach who was fired after a DUI. The guy who once owned 10 cars and spent $75,000 a year on insurance alone before declaring bankruptcy.

And that's just Kenny Anderson.

Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Sleepy Floyd, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith have also joined Rodman for the trip, his fourth and — from the way he's talking — probably not his last.

What they're making on this trip is a mystery: Expenses are covered, Smith said, but it's unknown if they'll be getting appearance fees or anything along those lines. Security is said to be provided by the North Korean Olympic Committee, which has guaranteed the Americans safe passage in and out of the nation.

Here's a look at the Rod-men:

———

Kenny Anderson

Was a high school coach in South Florida not long ago, before a DUI cost him that job. It wasn't like his team was any good — one game was a 78-7 loss — but Anderson talked about how thankful he was to still be in the game and how it could lead to bigger opportunities. It's believed he made about $65 million in NBA salary, but even that couldn't keep him from bankruptcy and other financial issues.

———

Vin Baker

He lost his mansion and his restaurant, along with much of the $100 million he made as an NBA star, but says he's comfortable these days and devotes much of his life to ministry. Baker has struggled with alcoholism and depression in the past, was charged with drunken driving in 2007, and the off-court issues make it easy to forget that he helped the U.S. win Olympic gold in 2000.

———

Sleepy Floyd

He counsels troubled people, works in ministry, has successful business dealings and started a financial management company after retiring. Memo to the Rod-men: He's your captain.

———

Doug Christie

He and his wife throw themselves weddings — not anniversary parties, but weddings — every year. Christie spent parts of 15 seasons in the NBA and still probably doesn't have the fan base that his wife Jackie has from her work on, among other things, Basketball Wives. And then came this nugget not long ago, that the couple was producing (though not starring in) adult films.

———

Cliff Robinson

He made roughly $61 million in NBA salary, which apparently that wasn't enough as he went through bankruptcy in recent years. He had some minor run-ins with the NBA's drug policy as a player, but his 15-year career was one that left him extremely popular among many other players.

———

Charles D. Smith

Smith was executive director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association before he was ousted in 2010. Like Floyd, he's had a busy business life after basketball, says he wouldn't mind meeting the North Korean leader who Rodman calls "the marshal" on this trip and can't wait to sit down with that nation's players to answer life about the U.S. "A little courage, a little faith is involved here," Smith says.

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