PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Charles D. Smith s

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PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Charles D. Smith s

Notapor carrie201918 » 12 Jun 2019, 08:40

PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Charles D. Smith says he feels remorse for coming to Pyongyang with Dennis Rodman for a game on the North Korean leaders birthday because the event has been dwarfed by politics and tainted by Rodmans own comments. Smith and other former NBA players are scheduled to play with Rodman against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday that organizers say leader Kim Jong Un is expected to attend. Many of the players on Tuesday privately expressed second thoughts about going ahead because of an outpouring of criticism back home in the United States. Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said the North Korea trip has been dwarfed by politics and Rodmans frequent boasts about his close friendship with Kim. "What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it," Smith told The Associated Press. "Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government." Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with seven former NBA players and four streetballers for the game on Kims birthday, believed to be his 31st. Along with Smith, the squad features ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker. The game would be another milestone in Rodmans surprising relationship with basketball fan Kim, who rarely meets with outsiders and is possibly the worlds most mysterious leader. Rodman has called the game a "birthday present" for Kim but says he has received death threats for his repeated visits to this country and for calling Kim a "friend for life." "The way some of the statements and things that Dennis has said has tainted our efforts," Smith said. "Dennis is a great guy, but how he articulates what goes on -- he gets emotional and he says things that hell apologize for later." NBA Commissioner David Stern has distanced his organization from Rodmans squad. "The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodmans North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department," he said in a statement. "Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them." Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in late 2011. He travelled to the North for the first time last February and came back just before Christmas to hold tryouts for the North Korean basketball team, though he did not meet with Kim then. The plan to hold the game has been criticized because of the Norths human rights record, its development of nuclear weapons and its threats to use them if a conflict breaks out with Washington or Seoul. Rodman, in particular, has been slammed for not trying to use his influence with Kim to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary with health problems who is being held in North Korea on charges of "anti-state" crimes. Asked in a CNN satellite interview Tuesday whether he would raise the issue of Bae, Rodman yelled in response, "I dont give a rats ass what the hell you think. ... One day this door is going to open because these 10 guys here." Smith placed his arm around Rodmans shoulder and a hand on his arm in an attempt to calm Rodman down. "I feel bad for Dennis, I feel bad for the players," Smith said afterward, adding that when he played for the United States in the 1988 Olympics he felt elation. "I felt huge, I felt on top of the world. But I feel the reverse now," he said. "I feel a lot of remorse for the guys because we are doing something positive, but its a lot bigger than us. We are not naive, we understand why things are being portrayed the way they are. We cant do anything about that, if we could we would. "Were not skilled in those particular areas," he added. "Dennis is definitely not skilled in those particular areas." Houston Texans Lonnie Johnson Jersey .J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is going to start the off-season training program with a surgically repaired left ankle. Cheap Houston Texans Jerseys Online . CHAUNCEY BILLUPS (Pistons): Yes they got Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in the off-season and Andre Drummond is a beast (teams are kicking themselves for passing on him - he rebounds and block shots every game - thats two more discernable and significant skills than most guys in his draft class), but dont for a second discount the impact of having a savvy veteran like Billups on your team. http://www.cheaptexans.com/. -- Terrelle Pryor took the opening snap of the game, put the ball in Darren McFaddens belly and saw LaMarr Woodley crash down. Stitched Houston Texans Jerseys . MLB executive Joe Torre ruled on Tuesday nights game at Wrigley Field that was called after 4 1-2 innings. The Cubs were declared the winners by a 2-0 score. Now, it is instead a suspended game that will resume at 4:05 p. Houston Texans Cullen Gillaspia Jersey . He made another correct read. The Browns, who have been shuttling quarterbacks on and off the field all season, finally got some good news on that front: Campbells ribs are only bruised.MILWAUKEE - The playoff-bound Toronto Raptors found themselves trailing the hapless Milwaukee Bucks by nine points at halftime. DeMar DeRozan made sure the Raptors recovered to continue their push for post-season position. The Toronto guard scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-98 Saturday night to keep pace with the Chicago Bulls for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. "We cant look at a teams record, come in here and think this is going to be a cakewalk," DeRozan said. "That team came out here and played extremely hard. They kind of blindsided us and we had to fight the whole game." After the Raptors gave up 38 points in the paint to trail 56-47 at halftime, coach Dwane Casey lit into his team at halftime. "We let them shoot 58 per cent in the first half and I cant accept that," Casey said. "The first half, we were playing in mud. Standing up straight and it wasnt just the starters. Everybody who was in there." Toronto is tied the Bulls, who beat Washington on Saturday night, at 45-32 with five games to play. Milwaukee fell to an NBA-worst 14-63, guaranteeing the teams worst record in its 45-year history. "We want to win, but I think if we can play this competitive as a team every night, I think there are some better days to come," said Milwaukees John Henson, who had 23 points and nine rebounds in 39 minutes. Greivis Vasquez tied a season-high with 26 points for Toronto, which has won three consecutive games and six of seven. Vasquez, who averages 9.1 points, made up the scoring lost when starting point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with a bruised left kneecap. "Coach jumped on us (at halftime) and we reacted pretty well," Vasquez said. "In the second half we came to play." DeRozan made six free throws in the final 24 seconds to seal the victory. "We always find ways to fight through," DeRozan said. "We tried to turn up the aggressiveness, especially in the fourth quarter.&quoot; Khris Middleton scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which has lost 13 of 14 games.dddddddddddd Middleton made 6 of 9 shots after a shooting slump in which he made 14 of 41 over the past four games. DeRozan made a pair of free throws to give the Raptors a 98-94 lead with 24 seconds left. Giannis Antetokounmpo then made two free throws to pull Milwaukee within 98-96 with 20 seconds left. DeRozan made two free throws to give Toronto a 100-96 lead with 18.6 seconds to go. Jeff Adrien dunked with 11 seconds left, but DeRozan made two more free throws to cap the scoring. Both teams played short-handed for the second consecutive night. Lowry and starting forward Amir Johnson were out with injuries for Toronto. Milwaukee had only eight players available due to injuries. The Bucks was 1 of 9 from 3-point range while Toronto was 12 of 27. "That is where the difference was," Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. "If you look at all the other categories, I believe we outscored them in the paint, more assists. A lot of good things we did do, but the 3-point line we did not do a good job defending." There were nine lead changes in the fourth quarter, but Vasquez hit a 3-pointer to give Toronto the lead for good at 86-84 with 5:24 left. DeRozan then hit a free throw and made a 22-foot jumper to give the Raptors an 89-84 lead. The Bucks pulled within 89-88, but DeRozan scored on a driving runner and Jonas Valanciunas converted a 3-point play to give the Raptors a 94-88 lead with 1:43 to go. NOTES: F Chris Wright was signed to his second 10-day contract by the Bucks on Saturday. He scored four points in 16 minutes. ... The PA announcer drew big cheers from the Bradley Center crowd with periodic updates of the Wisconsin-Kentucky game in the NCAA tournament. ... The 1993-94 Bucks went 20-62, the teams previous worst record. ... Torontos 45th win ties for the franchises third most wins in a season. The team needs two wins in its final five games to match the team-record 47 wins, set in 2000-01 and 2006-07. 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