Former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman told TMZ Sports he is praying for Kim Jong-un’s full recovery after reports that the North Korean leader is on his deathbed after undergoing surgery.
"I hope it's just a rumour that Marshal Kim Jong-un is sick... Hopefully, I will find out more soon. There is still so much work we have to do between both the USA and DPRK. If he is not feeling well, I am praying for his speedy recovery, so that both my friends [Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un] can continue towards a peaceful success", Rodman said.
The statement comes against the backdrop of Kim's alleged heart-related surgery. However, the Yonhap News Agency said, citing South Korean government sources, that the reports of surgery were not true.
Meanwhile, Kim has not visited a number of important events in North Korea this month, including the ceremony marking the birthday of his late grandfather and North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung. Yet, Kim was allegedly seen several days earlier attending a government meeting.
Rodman, who played for more than a dozen years in the NBA, was known for his defensive and rebounding skills and is considered one of the game's most colourful personalities. Rodman spent most of his career with the Detroit Pistons, at the time known as the NBA’s "Bad Boys" because of their physical style of play, where he won two league titles. He later helped the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls win three championships. Rodman made the NBA All-Star team twice and was named to the league’s All-Defensive First Team seven times.