Depending on the location, mixing basketball and foreign policy can be toxic.
North Korea isn't a bit funny (as in amusing), but retired NBA player Dennis Rodman is (as in eccentric).
That unfortunate combination has drawn considerable attention since Rodman brought a group of retired NBA players to North Korea to play an exhibition game against the country's national team in honor of dictator Kim Jong Un's birthday.
Because Rodman and members of his group are private citizens, it says nothing official about the United States' relationship with the viciously oppressive government that controls North Korea. Indeed, the Rodman venture is a sort of comic opera.
If there ever was an individual who is unprepared to discuss serious diplomatic issues involving North Korea, it is Rodman. That's why he was so quick to melt down emotionally during a television interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, who asked Rodman about an American held prisoner in that totalitarian country.
The question precipitated an emotional outburst by Rodman that ultimately drew attention and comment from the White House.
Calling Kim Jong Un his "friend," Rodman said that he brought the retired NBA players to North Korea as a means of establishing humanitarian bonds with the people of that country. But it's impossible to separate the oppressed people of North Korea from their chief oppressor, the maniacal Kim Jong Un regime, Rodman's "friend."
The result is a clown show that does not reflect well on the American participants. Fortunately, it will be quickly forgotten as just another Rodman misadventure.