UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, North Korea – Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center after dealing with a media backlash due to his visit to North Korea. The basketball legend will reportedly be spending the entirety of his voluntary 30-year stay in a state-of-the-art ‘rehab’ facility somewhere in the northern half of the reclusive nation.
According to his agent, Darren Prince, the decision to enter rehab was facilitated by a regiment of well-meaning, well-armed North Korean soldiers who helped Rodman see that he had a serious problem. “The pressure that was put on [Rodman] to be a combination ‘super-human’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him,” said Prince in a written statement. “He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused. And he hopes his good friend [North Korean leader] Kim [Jong Un] knows he would never, while sober, question the integrity of the North Korean government.”
Rodman blamed his excessive drinking for his roundly-criticized statement that an American imprisoned in North Korea since 2012 may have deserved his sentence of 15 years’ hard labor. He later apologized after the American’s family complained.
“I don’t know what I was doing when I apologized,” said Rodman through a spokesman for the Korean Central News Agency. “I was obviously even more drunk than I’d been the first time I spoke on this topic. Everyone should very much ignore what I have said.”
Prince said that while he has not spoken personally with Rodman since the basketball star put himself into rehab. he was not surprised to hear how bad Rodman’s alcoholism had become. “His drinking escalated to a level that none of us had seen before,” said Prince. “At one point it took four armed North Korean soldiers to hold him down and place him in restraints because he had been about to leave the country where he would probably have gone on another drinking binge.”
Although the administration of Kim Jong Un did not comment publicly on the struggles Kim’s American friend was undergoing, it did put out a statement which read, in part, “Dennis who? We remember Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, but are pretty sure there was nobody named Dennis on those Bulls teams. In fact, we are positive that nobody named Dennis Rodman ever existed.”