Rick Reilly's Dennis Rodman Column, Explained

Illustration for article titled Rick Reilly's Dennis Rodman Column, Explained

Rick Reilly dropped another column today and I figure we should just break it down for everyone because, if you're anything like me, a lot of the higher-brow jokes sometimes goes right over your head. So, we're going to workshop this one.


First things first: this is about Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea where he met Kim Jong Un. OK, we start with the second sentence.

Yes, we are talking about a man who is crazy, dangerous and completely out of touch with reality. But you could also say that of Kim Jong-un.

This is classic misdirection. That first sentence you're thinking "Yes. Yes, Kim Jong Un is all of those things." And then BLAMMO, he was talking about Rodman. You never had a chance.

OK, now the rest is more or less a preamble to the main premise: Dennis Rodman meeting with the leaders of other hostile countries and later discussing how it went. Here we go.

"OK, I can't even pronounce this dude's name, but he's awesome! Mahmoud Abbajinabob? Whatever, I love him! I kid with him, though. I keep tellin' him, 'Open your damn eyes! You look like Renee Zellweger! Ha!'

"Seriously, though, everybody's all on his case about building up his arms, but guess what? I think he oughta do more of that! I told him, 'Have you seen my arms? Twenty minutes of curls every day, brother. You could have these!' He was impressed, dude.

"And this whole Axle of Evil thing? How can an axle be evil anyway? That's stupid."

OK. The premise here is that Dennis Rodman is stupid and says words that sound like other words while often neglecting to account for words having more than one meaning. Not sure about the Zellweger thing. Probably some next-level shit we don't even know about yet.

"Syria is right next to Jordan, right? Well, guess what? I spent three years right next to Jordan and I'm in the damn Hall of Fame. Anyway, my boy Bashar wants Obama to text him."


OK. This is a curveball Dennis-Rodman-is-stupid setup. Here he's comparing Jordan the country to Jordan the man and discussing world politics. Who does that?! Dennis Rodman.

"Man, you don't even know how sweet this Castro dude is. Raul Castro is my vato. Dude hands out some righteous cigars.

"And he told me he was a revolutionary back in the day. Well, so was I! Man, I've been revolting since I was with the Spurs! And I'm supposed to be all upset about what his brother did? Fidel? Please. I have 46 siblings. I ain't responsible for them.

"I think we need a new motto: Raul Is Cool. Back off him. Be friends! Besides, the dude has a sick pool!"


I should mention, it's more than just "Dennis Rodman is stupid, har-har." It's actually that Dennis Rodman is both stupid and in otherwise ridiculous circumstances that makes his stupidity really outrageous. But, yeah, that's happening here along with another classic Rodman language foul up. He's confusing youthful rebellion with overthrowing a country. So, we've got some Stupid happening as well as a little Rhyming Rodman thrown in for good measure.

"Putin. I like saying that name Putin. It's fun.

"People say, oh, Putin spends too much money on defense. Well, guess what? What's wrong with spending money on defense? Jerry Krause spent a lot of money on defense when he got me to Chicago, and all we did was win the fat man three damn world championships!

"Anyway, Putin isn't all bad. He said he helped Sochi win the Olympics, so he's obviously a good father. Maybe Sochi could meet Sasha? Hey, it's a start!"


Stupid Rodman. He confuses meanings for "defense," thinking Putin is referring to basketball instead of national security. There's also something subtler going on, if you notice; a running theme, if you will. Rodman repeats himself a lot with verbal crutches: "Well, guess what?" "But, guess what?" etc. And then we have a little Rhyming Rodman with an homage to the legendary Uma-Oprah bit with "Sochi could meet Sasha." Bonus Stupid points because Sochi, unlike President Obama's daughter, is not a human.

"I couldn't ever find this damn place, so I just went to Vegas instead. Sorry."


Dennis Rodman is stupid, maybe lazy, likes to gamble.

"I was bummed I didn't get to meet Fernando Venezuela. That woulda been cool. Great looking women, though. Wished I had a photographer with me and you know The Worm hates photographers! LOL!"


Dennis Rodman is stupid, and says words that sound and/or look like other words.

"This place is big, dude. And yet no P.F. Chang's. LOL!

"No, seriously, a lot of good dudes here. They were so friendly! They wanted me to see the China Cabinet, but I said, 'Dude, my mom made me paint her China cabinet once, so, nah, I'm good.'

"Kind of a weird place, though. They kept saying, 'Hu wants to meet you.'

"And I kept saying, 'I don't know, who?'

"And they kept saying, 'That's why you should meet him.'

"And I said, 'What?'

"And they said "No, Wat is his cousin."

"Anyway, cool people. Good wall builders."

Lot going on here. Definitely some Dennis-Rodman-is-stupid here. Dennis misinterprets the "China cabinet" as a piece of furniture that holds dishes as opposed to a reference to the government. And then we've got the big guns coming out with the Abbott and Costello Who's On First routine. Classic. He really goes for it here: Hu and Wat.

"I know Israel and the media and everybody is saying, 'Hamas is bad. Hamas is bad.' But I tried it and it was pretty good, especially with some of their tortillas.

"Anyway, The Worm loves everybody. Period. End of story. Except for Randy Savage. That guy ought to be hung in effigy. Or wherever they can do it."


Saving the best for last. This is a really insidious Dennis-Rodman-is-stupid framework which then allows for a slam dunk Rhyming Rodman. Hamas, clearly, is not a country, but it does sound an awful lot like hummus.

If you've got questions, please feel free to ask in the discussion below.