NBA commissioner: ex-NBA players ‘blinded’ by North Korean payday

Heather Hunter Contributor
Font Size:

NBA Commissioner David Stern told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that the ex-NBA players participating in a trip to North Korea were “blinded by the payday.”

The NBA commissioner distanced himself from Dennis Rodman’s effort to bring ex-NBA players to North Korea by saying, “We did not sanction this.”

However, Stern said “sports diplomacy” is “not a problem” but notes two million North Koreans have been starved by this ruler and “there’s a lot at stake here in terms of a country that has — a very dangerous country.”

In response to Rodman’s meltdown on CNN, the commissioner said: “Dennis will be Dennis.”

When asked why the commissioner believes these ex-NBA players joined Rodman on this trip, Stern replied, “They were blinded by the pay day.  I don’t know what else to say or how directly to say it.  That’s all.”

“And Charles [Smith] should have known better.  But he didn’t in this case.  And I’m sure he’s sorry for what he’s doing.”