Former New York Knicks star Charles D. Smith has admitted his remorse over taking part in a game hosted by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Dennis Rodman, a self-proclaimed friend of the dictator, travelled to the capital Pyongyang with other former NBA stars to take part in a game to honour Un's birthday, scheduled to be played on Wednesday.
However, a number of the former stars have since claimed to be having second thoughts because of the amount of criticism the game has conjured in the United States.
Smith is the latest star to express his feelings, saying the event has been marred by political agendas and Rodman's frequent boasts about his relationship with the leader.
“What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it,” Smith told The Associated Press. “Apparently our message is not being conveyed properly due to the circumstances that are much bigger than us, and I think that has to do with politics and government.”
Rodman arrived in the capital on Monday along with Smith, ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker and four streetballers.
The former Chicago Bulls star has visited the country three times but reaches a milestone in his friendship with Kim calling the game a "birthday present" for his "friend for life".
“The way some of the statements and things that Dennis has said has tainted our efforts,” Smith said. “Dennis is a great guy, but how he articulates what goes on — he gets emotional and he says things that he’ll apologize for later.”