- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Retired basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on Mr. Rodman’s recent controversial trip to North Korea.

To promote his new show “Upload with Shaquille O’Neal,” the former Lakers star appeared on CBS “This Morning” Tuesday and had some tough criticism for his formal rival.

“I think we as people should understand our roles in life,” Mr. O’Neal said. “And I think certain people should leave the diplomacy to diplomats. It was a very, very risky move what he did.”

Mr. Rodman defended his trip to North Korea on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos Sunday, calling Kim Jong-Un a “great guy” and “very humble.”

A perplexed Stephanopoulos asked the basketball player how he could cozy up to a country with such an abominable human rights record.

“I don’t condone that. I hate the fact that he’s doing that. I didn’t talk about that. I saw people respected him, his family. He’s only 28. He’s not his dad. He’s not his grandpa. He is 28 years old. He’s very humble. He’s a very humble man. He don’t want war, that’s one thing he don’t want. He loves power. He loves control, because of his father, you know, stuff like that. But he’s just … he’s a great guy. He’s just a great guy. You sit down and talk to him,” Mr.Rodman said.

Then the ABC host went after the former NBA champion on North Korean death camps, to where Mr. Rodman replied, “We do the same things here.”

“We have prison camps here in the United States?” Mr. Stephanopoulos asked.

“This is all politics right? He don’t want to do that,” Mr. Rodman said, avoiding the question. “He was a great guy to me. He was my friend. I don’t condone what he does. But as a person to person, he’s my friend. What I did was history. He’s a friend to me. That’s about it.”

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