Black man in a baseball cap with lots of facial rings in lips, nose and ears wearing a blue shirt

Now that Donald Trump has punked out on peace in Korea, it’s time to give that Nobel Prize to the guy who really deserves it: Dennis Rodman.

Please sign the petition urging the Nobel Committee to give him the award.

Rodman, of course, is the flamboyant former pro basketball star who’s made repeated trips to North Korea to visit with that country’s enigmatic young dictator, Kim Jun Un.  

The thirty-something Kim has long been a basketball fanatic. From outward appearances the short (5’ 7”) portly leader would not seem NBA-ready.

But years ago Rodman began visiting him with a new brand of “hoop diplomacy” that provided America’s first real personal opening to the Supreme Leader.  Of all the high-priced diplomats the West has in its arsenal, only the wildly unpredictable rebounder seemed to be able to get through to the nuclear-armed Korean.

Rodman himself has enigma of his own to spare. Covered with tats and body piercings, the legendary defensive star frequently came on the courts with wild hair dyes and an outer space attitude that drove sportscasters nuts.

Rodman was a terrible shooter, but an all-star defensive specialist.  He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for seven consecutive years. He won two championship rings with the Pistons and three with the Chicago Bulls. He also took (and missed ) a final shot that could have got the Pistons a third title.

But with Korea he has been supremely successful. Perhaps their kindred hairdos have helped Kim and Dennis to bond.

But no one would ever mistake “Dotard” Trump (who is allegedly 6’ 3”) for a basketball star.  Nor would anyone begin to conceive of him as a successful diplomat. Unless Kim is ready to pump some cash into Trump’s bankrupt business ventures, it’s not likely the two will ever hit it off.  

Rodman, on the other, has provided what appears to be the only meaningful personal link between America and North Korea.  We can never know if he has in fact prevented the two countries from devolving into nuclear war.

But rarely in world history has a single private citizen without an official portfolio so successfully reached out to a potentially hostile nation.  

In many ways, Dennis Rodman is the only true hero in our nation’s desperate, dangerous history of mis-communication with a nuclear-armed nation about which we really know virtually nothing.  He has succeeded where Trump has so predictably failed.

It’s time to honor Dennis Rodman with that Nobel Prize.  Please sign the petition to make it happen. Senior Editor Harvey Wasserman’s radio shows are at and KPFK-Pacifica, Los Angeles.  His America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Life & Death Spiral of US History from Deganawidah to the Donald will soon be published at