How NBA star Dennis Rodman Became the World's Last Hope Against Nuclear War

The fact that a former basketball player is the only person who gets along with both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un says a lot about the world.

It was amusing to imagine the quirky NBA legend Dennis Rodman serving as the United States' de facto ambassador to North Korea during his first visit there in 2013.

The five-time NBA champion offered to "straighten things out" between Trump and Kim Jong-un in an interview with Good Morning Britain, stressing that he views both men as friends.

After receiving an invitation from Kim, Rodman travelled to North Korea for the first time in 2013 with a team of Vice journalists. It turns out that Kim Jong Un was a fan of Michael Jordan's 1990s Chicago Bulls teams as a child.

Rodman was formerly a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice before being fired by Trump for spelling the future first lady's name incorrectly.

To Rodman's credit, it proved to be more than just a one-off publicity gimmick. He made several excursions to North Korea, where he inevitably became caught up in major world events.

Rodman received strong criticism in 2014 for claiming that North Korea had a good reason to imprison American missionary Kenneth Bae. Later, Bae would assert that Rodman's remarks helped to free him.

The media paid more attention to my situation as a result of his tirade, according to Bae. (After the uproar, Rodman—who would subsequently apologize—entered rehab.)

Prior to his passing, American college student Otto Warmbier was persuaded by North Korea to be released, according to Rodman's representative, who made the claim earlier this year.

The fact that Rodman was in a position to take credit for Warmbier's release, despite the denials of practically everyone else involved, is sufficient evidence that he has emerged as the unexpected face of US-North Korean relations.

A combination of all these qualities would make Rodman the ideal representative to North Korea. This helps to explain how he came to be the only prominent figure with a direct access to both leaders.