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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:59am

Dennis, let's talk some more ...

CNN
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 8:06pm

(CNN) -- It may be more important to tell you what is not motivating my trip to see Dennis Rodman.

I am not looking to spar about his "friend," the much-maligned ruler of North Korea, or to debate the merits of basketball diplomacy in that country when I sit down to talk with him live Friday morning.

Dennis can speak to an issue that is a bigger threat to our country than Kim Jong Un: addiction.

Rodman may be in the fight of and for his life, and it is a battle all too familiar these days.

I want to talk to him about that, his recent bottom, what has kept him from sobriety. And hopefully he is willing to talk about the challenges and the benefits of rehab, as readily as he discusses the virtues of his despot "friend."

Maybe that friendship has metaphoric value for Rodman: keeping cozy with his own demons, abusing drugs to hide from himself -- just as he hid from the reality of that country and its ruler?

Too far? Probably, but he is face-to-face with a battle that too many are fighting and losing. I want to see how much fight the hardwood warrior has in him to get sober and treat his illness.

I hope he is as fired up about his future as he was in our last interview about defending his friend.

The last time we talked it was earlier this month while he was in Pyongyang for a basketball game on Kim's birthday.

I didn't intend to get into a joust with the former NBA star, but believe it or not, Rodman is the U.S. citizen with the most direct line to a dictator with nuclear weapons, and I needed to ask him some questions about the political nature of his trip.

So I asked him about the plight of prisoner Kenneth Bae, and his antics made headlines.

He said later he was drunk during the interview and when he got back to the United States, he checked into a rehab center.

This time we're going to talk in person. I want to know, I want to see for myself, how he's doing in the biggest battle of his life.

What do you think I should ask him? Reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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