NBA Diplomacy

NBA Diplomacy

Basketball Used in Diplomatic Relations

This may be the most interesting piece of NBA-related news you’ll read in a long time; or it may be the most bizarre. The United States and North Korea held a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam this past February, as the two countries move towards ‘normalizing relations’

At the summit, it has been reported that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un requested the United States send “famous NBA basketball players” to North Korea in a deal to normalize relations. The request was made in the context of a cultural exchange as the countries seek to better understand one another and pursue common goals and interests.

Unfortunately, the United States were not able to meet Kim Jong Un’s requests, who is known to be a huge NBA fan. NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman’s close friendship with Kim has been well publicized and has interestingly been credited for helping to mediate North Korea and U.S. dialogue in the past on many occasions.

We know that the NBA is global, but to think that it has become a part of global diplomatic relations is quite remarkable.


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