Ex-NBA player regrets going to North Korea game

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Dennis Rodman stands up to leave after he and fellow US basketball players completed a television interview at a Pyongyang, North Korea hotel Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Rodman came to the North Korean capital with a team of USA basketball stars for an exhibition game on Jan. 8, the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. From left to right are Cliff Robinson, Jerry Dupree, Charles D. Smith, unidentified, Vin Baker, Andre "Silk" Poole and Doug Christie. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Dennis Rodman stands up to leave after he and fellow US basketball players completed a television interview at a Pyongyang, North Korea hotel Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Rodman came to the North Korean capital with a team of USA basketball stars for an exhibition game on Jan. 8, the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. From left to right are Cliff Robinson, Jerry Dupree, Charles D. Smith, unidentified, Vin Baker, Andre “Silk” Poole and Doug Christie. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Former NBA star Charles D. Smith says he feels remorse for coming to Pyongyang with Dennis Rodman for a game on the North Korean leader’s birthday because the event has been dwarfed by politics and tainted by Rodman’s own comments.

Smith and other former NBA players are scheduled to play with Rodman against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday that organizers say leader Kim Jong Un is expected to attend. Many of the players on Tuesday expressed second thoughts about going ahead because of an outpouring of criticism back home in the United States.

Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said the North Korea trip has been dwarfed by politics and Rodman’s frequent boasts about his close friendship with Kim.

Dennis Rodman meets with former North Korean basketball player Ri Myung Hun, left,  at a practice session with USA and North Korean players in Pyongyang, North Korea on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

Dennis Rodman meets with former North Korean basketball player Ri Myung Hun, left, at a practice session with USA and North Korean players in Pyongyang, North Korea on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

 

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