Dennis Rodman to Go to Russia to Help Brittney Griner: 'I Know Putin Too Well'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 21, 2022

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman is apparently going to attempt to help bring Brittney Griner home to the United States.

Griner, who is a seven-time All-Star for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, has been held in Russia since February and was recently sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of drug possession.

"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman said, per Jonathan Allen of NBC News. "I'm trying to go this week."

The Hall of Fame basketball player said he believes his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin will assist in the efforts to help Griner.

"I know Putin too well," he added.

Rodman is no stranger to informal international relations. Allen explained Rodman has a relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and was even "on the sidelines of former President Donald Trump's meeting with Kim in Singapore" in 2018.

As for Griner—whom the United States State Department has classified "wrongfully detained"—ESPN noted her lawyers filed an appeal of her sentencing Monday.

Her lawyers had written statements revealing she was prescribed cannabis to treat pain, and Griner said the canisters containing the cannabis oil were in her luggage by mistake.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously said the United States made a "substantial proposal" to Russia in an effort to return Griner and Paul Whelan, who is another American being held in Russia, back to their home country.

Rodman last appeared in the NBA during the 1999-2000 campaign and played 14 seasons for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.


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