Former Bulls star Dennis Rodman has friends in high places. As a generally agreeable character, Rodman has made it a point of his to form connections with various world leaders, ranging from North Korea's Kim Jong Un to Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Recently, Rodman was considering using one of those connections to help detained WNBA star Brittney Griner be released from a Russian prison.
NBA legend Dennis Rodman could play a big part in the Brittney Griner ongoing case in Russia. The WNBA star has been detained in the Eurasian country since February and recently was sentenced to 9 years in prison after being found guilty of drug charges.
Talking to NBC News on Saturday, Rodman revealed that he's ready to go to the country to find a solution to Griner's problems.
"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman told NBC News at a restaurant in D.C. "I'm trying to go this week."
It wasn't long after that a senior White House official came out to discourage Rodman's involvement, going so far as to tell the media that his insertion would only complicate matters further.
Rodman has since walked back on his Russia talks.
(via ABC News):
The U.S. government on Monday strongly discouraged former NBA player Dennis Rodman from traveling to Russia to help secure the release of detained WNBA star Brittney Griner -- a trip that Rodman himself separately clarified isn't in the works, reversing an earlier comment.
A State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, told ABC News during a press briefing on Monday that if Rodman did travel to Russia, "He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government."
Amid the scrutiny over his comments, Rodman told ABC News on Monday that he doesn’t currently have plans to travel to Russia.
As a basketball player, Rodman cannot be questioned. He poured his heart and soul into every game and achieved excellent results time and time again.
But in the case of Brittney Griner and the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and Russia, Rodman is out of his league and in over his head, and it's a good thing that he realized it quickly before he had a chance to make the situation worse.