Former NBA player Kenny Anderson says he’s so sorry he participated in Dennis Rodman’s basketball birthday extravaganza for the leader of the world’s most brutal regime, but not sorry enough to donate the money he was paid to charity.
Anderson was on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” with his agent Monday night on a P.R. offensive. Pressed by Morgan, Anderson admitted that he was paid “a few thousand dollars” to participate in the propaganda exhibition basketball game in North Korea. But when asked whether he would donate his earning for the trip to charity instead of accepting what some might consider blood money, Anderson repeatedly said he would only donate an unspecified “portion” to charity.
His agent claimed that Anderson’s compensation didn’t come from the North Korean regime.
Another participant in the North Korean basketball game, ex-NBA player Charles Smith, also claimed that it wasn’t Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime that paid his honorarium, but only after throwing a hissy fit about how offended he was to even be asked about his compensation.
“I have no reason to answer that question to anyone,” Smith said on CNN’s “AC 360 Later” Monday night. “That’s my personal business. I think the question is a little personal and inappropriate.”
Smith eventually claimed he was paid not by the North Korean regime, but by the betting website Paddy Power and a documentary film group, both based out of Ireland.
It remains unclear whether the players who participated in the game were paid in some indirect way by North Korea or whether they received other types of non-cash compensation during their stay in the country.
North Korea’s regime is believed by many to be the world’s worst violator of human rights. By one estimate, as many as 200,000 North Koreans are imprisoned in brutal concentration camps, some for “political crimes” allegedly committed by their ancestors.