Sports Illustrated’s annual ”Where Are They Now?” issue often feels like an unpredictable real-life version of Mad Libs: [Former athlete] goes to [unexpected place] and [contributes to society in surprising manner]. For 14 years now, those blanks have been filled in, simultaneously prompting trips down memory lane and offering a glimpse at life after sports.
This year’s cover story is arguably the maddest of the Mad Libs: Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea in hopes of normalizing relations between the country and the United States and capturing a Nobel Peace Prize.
Rodman plans to return to North Korea in August. “I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman says. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.” The Korean-American missionary was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges that he tried to topple the North Korean regime. He’d organized tours into the isolated state.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman says. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [Obama’s] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.”
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