Former Golden State Warriors guard Sleepy Floyd and former Sacramento Kings guard Doug Christie are two of the former NBA players that have joined controversial Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman in North Korea for an exhibition game against a team of North Korean players as a “birthday present” for that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
Rodman has made several trips to North Korea in recent years and has developed a friendly relationship with Kim, although he told the Associated Press he has received death threats over his repeated visits.
“I’m not a president, I’m not a politician, I’m not an ambassador,” Rodman said. “I’m just an athlete and the reason for me to go is to bring peace to the world, that’s it. That’s all I want, no money. I want no money, no money.”
Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet with Kim, who succeeded his father as leader of the communist nation in late 2011.
Floyd, 53, was an All-Star for the Warriors in 1986-87, and averaged 17.7 points and 6.7 assists per game for Golden State in parts of six seasons from 1982-83 through 1987-88. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, also playing for the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
Christie, 43, played for the Kings from 2000-01 through 2004-05 and in parts of five seasons averaged 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and two steals per game and was a 36.2 percent shooter from 3-point range. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers during his 15-year NBA career.
Another former Warrior, Clifford Robinson, is on the trip. Robinson played for the Warriors in 2003-04 and 2004-05, averaging 10.7 points per game in 124 games in parts of those two seasons. The well-traveled Robinson, 47, played 18 seasons in the NBA and was also with the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets.
Other players on the trip include Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker and Charles Smith, along with four streetballers. Rodman said proceeds from the game will go to a charity for the deaf in North Korea.
“It’s new being here, but overall the concept is not new,” said former Knick Smith. “The team is made up of a lot of guts who really care, that’s the most important, it’s not about bringing dream-teamers. It’s about guys who are coming that want to be a part of this, that care, and that really care about humanity.”