LONDON (AP) - While critical of Dennis Rodman's trips to North Korea, incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the former Chicago Bulls player also helped raise awareness of leader Kim Jong Un's ''repressive regime.''
Rodman was chided by the NBA earlier this month for taking a squad of former players to North Korea to play a game as a birthday gift for Kim.
Rodman was criticized in the United States for not trying to use his influence with Kim to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary being held in North Korea.
Silver says ''as negative as that trip was in so many ways it also brought attention to a critical issue ... most Americans hadn't focused on at all, in terms of a repressive regime.''

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