NBA legend Dennis Rodman is once again ready to serve as an unofficial envoy for the U.S. to a nation it has a strained relationship with.
According to NBC News, Rodman claimed that he has been granted permission to visit Russia. He intends to help out WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested by authorities in February for possession of cannabis oil.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” Rodman told NBC News. “I’m trying to go this week.”
Griner’s detainment has been the point of much debate, with many people stating that the Phoenix Mercury center is being used by Russia as leverage in response to sanctions imposed by Western nations on the country for its invasion of Ukraine.
There were reports that President Joe Biden’s administration had offered convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in a potential prisoner swap. However, it seems that nothing has come out of the reported proposal.
Earlier in August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison. The NBA world reacted to the unfortunate news with outrage.
Only time will tell if Rodman’s purported plan can provide Griner a way home.
It should be remembered that the five-time NBA champion has visited North Korea several times in the past decade. Like Russia, North Korea has a contentious relationship with a majority of the Western powers. However, for some reason, Rodman was able to cultivate a friendship with the nation’s leader Kim Jong Un.
According to Rodman, he is also acquainted with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“I know Putin too well,” Rodman said.
Hopefully, Griner will not have to stay detained in Russia for much longer.