If North Korea didn't pay Dennis Rodman's team, who did?

Jim Rogash

Dennis Rodman's traveling buddy maintains that the repressive Kim Jong-Un regime didn't pay for the Americans to come over and play in Pyongyang.

The lasting question of Dennis Rodman's exhibition game against the North Korean national team in Pyongyang this week is why other American players, including Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker and Doug Christie, went along. Naturally, one assumes that these retired professional players agreed to make the trip to get a payday. That's typically what professional athletes do: play sports in return for payment.

In an interview on CNN this weekend, Charles Smith -- who has said he travels with Rodman often -- insisted that the Americans did not take money from North Korea.

[CNN HOST VICTOR BLACKWELL:] I've got one more question that I think we glazed over and it was about the compensation. I don't mean to belabor the point, but quite bluntly, was there any compensation - any money that came to you from the North Korean government?

SMITH: Absolutely not. I think I'm astute enough to understand the dynamics, especially collecting monetary dollars from North Korea. No, we did not get paid from North Korea at all.

Note the language: Smith said that the team "did not get paid from North Korea at all." That leaves open the question of who did pay the team, and what their motivations to have Rodman and crew play in Pyongyang in a showcase for a brutal dictator were.

Of course, the answer to that may be something Smith and his colleagues don't know, or don't want to know.

More from SB Nation NBA:

Hoosier Hysteria: How the Pacers won back the heart of Indiana

What is tanking and who’s actually doing it?

Josh Smith and the trouble with staying who you are

A look at the Nets-Heat nickname jerseys

Power Rankings: Can Warriors join top 5? | Pictures: Dubs blend old with new

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.