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In Russia, Dennis Rodman to the rescue of Brittney Griner

Michael Jordan's most eccentric teammate at the Chicago Bulls has reportedly been given permission to negotiate with Russia to free the basketball player, who was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession. 

Rodzilla enters the game. The mythical winger of the Chicago Bulls, Dennis Rodman, would be in the process of negotiating the release of Brittney Griner with the Kremlin. In any case, this is what the retired basketball player told NBC News on August 21: "I have been authorized to go to Russia to help this girl," he said. Dennis Rodman could go there as early as next week.

Brittney Griner is an American basketball player, Olympic medalist, playing in the Russian club UMMC Yekaterinburg. She has been detained in Russia since February 17, after being controlled at the Moscow airport in possession of CBD oil, a substance prohibited in Russia. On August 4, the American player was sentenced to 9 years in prison by the Russian justice.

Since the Russian authorities arrested Brittney Griner, her relatives are mobilizing. Cherelle, his wife, is working to mobilize media attention around the detainee. She obtained the support of the American president, Joe Biden, who judged the condemnation of the 31 years old basketball player "unacceptable". Negotiations are currently aimed at exchanging Brittney Griner for a Russian prisoner named Viktor Bout. This arms dealer is known for having inspired Nicolas Cage's role in Lord of War. 

Pyongyang's friend 

That Dennis Rodman is negotiating with the Kremlin to free the player is not a surprise. For several years, the basketball player is known to be the "friend" of dictators: for example, he is very close to Kim Jong Un, the head of the North Korean state. Dennis Rodman has already met Vladimir Putin on a trip in 2014. At the time, he considered the Kremlin leader to be "cool". Dennis Rodman's friendships with opponents of the United States, added to the legend of the player who, for the whole world, represents a certain idea of America, allow him to play a role in diplomatic crises involving his country. The Chicago Bulls winger is said to have intervened with Kim Jong Un in 2014 and allowed the release of Kenneth Bae, an American held in North Korea. 

Written by Michael Zippo

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