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11 Oct, 2019 10:59

‘I know a thing or two about diplomacy’: Dennis Rodman wants to help NBA ease tensions with China

‘I know a thing or two about diplomacy’: Dennis Rodman wants to help NBA ease tensions with China

As tensions between the NBA and China continue to escalate, Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman has volunteered to be the league’s ambassador to the Asian country in an attempt to reconcile the two parties.

The 58-year-old offered his diplomatic expertise to the NBA after relations between the league and China seriously deteriorated following the Hong Kong tweet backlash.

READ MORE: China cancels Brooklyn Nets community event in Shanghai amid tension with NBA

Commissioner Adam Silver, I know a thing or two about diplomacy,” Rodman said in a video message posted on Twitter. “Book me a ticket to Shanghai with you.”

The retired NBA star-turned volunteer diplomat previously tried to mend relations between the US and North Korea, an effort he called “basketball diplomacy.”

The current spat between the NBA and China was sparked by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who expressed support for the Hong Kong protesters.

Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” he tweeted last Friday, sparking outrage in China, which immediately cut ties with the team.

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The Twitter row quickly escalated, resulting in a series of bans imposed by China, including the decision to not broadcast NBA preseason games.

Large-scale protests and demonstrations engulfed the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong after an extradition bill allowing suspects to be sent to mainland China was proposed by lawmakers.