So, What Exactly Is the Deal With Dennis Rodman?

In this image released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed by the Korea News Service, former NBA star Dennis Rodman, second right in front row, visits a dolphin aquarium in Pyongyang in North Korea Friday, March 1, 2013.  Ending his unexpected round of basketball diplomacy in North Korea on Friday,  Rodman called leader Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" and said his father and grandfather were "great leaders."
Photo: Corbis

Before leaving North Korea on Friday, NBA legend Dennis Rodman had a ton of glowing things to say about Kim Jong Un and his insane dictator predecessors:

Dennis Rodman called leader Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" and said his father and grandfather were "great leaders."

"He's proud, his country likes him - not like him, love him, love him," Rodman said of Kim Jong Un. "Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."

That's pretty effusive praise for the guy who oversees what is widely recognized as the world's most repressive society, not to mention for the madmen who ran the country previously. So, as every mediocre Seinfeld impression might put it ... what is the deal? Here are five possibilities:

Rodman Is an Attention Whore: You know who nobody cared about four days ago? Dennis Rodman. We care now, for the time being. Praising Kim Jong Un is just the latest "showing up to a book event in a wedding dress" — an over-the-top publicity tactic.

Rodman Is the World's Most Gracious Guest: Rodman just sees it as good manners to praise your host and your host's family, even if they're responsible for the death, torture, and imprisonment of millions of innocent people. After all, what is he going to say when a reporter sticks a microphone in his face? "Well, to be honest, this place is a nightmare and Kim Jong Un is a monster"?

Rodman Is Desperate to Relive His Glory Days: Kim Jong Un is known to be a huge Bulls fan, an obsession he inherited from his father. For Rodman, a D-list reality star back home, hanging out with the Korean boy-king returned him to a time when he was worshiped and admired.

Rodman Is Completely Ignorant: We're sure Kim Jong Un seems like a nice guy if he treats you like a V.I.P. and you don't know anything else about him. It's like feeding McDonald's to an alien — he's not aware that it's the world's most unhealthy food or that it used to look like pink Gak. "Xglog zymfor. Prexzon yurk," he'd say, which translates in English to, "I love this. This is really awesome."

Rodman Has Been Brainwashed: This is what happens after you're forced to watch the music video for "Excellent Horse-like Lady" on a loop for 22 straight hours.