Halloween has come and gone, the NBA season has opened, and it is time to announce the winner of our “Starting Five Dictators, Living or Dead” Contest. Readers with long memories will remember that this contest was inspired by the question Michael Kosta posed to Dennis Rodman upon his return from North Korea in September. Party pooper Paddy Power snatched the mike away from the Worm before he could respond, so we left it up to you, the reader, to fill in the blanks.
We had some good entries. Fred Z was very creative but got docked points for comparing my childhood hero, Wes Unseld, to Idi Amin. For a guy who claims to know little about basketball, Tomas C came up with a raft of good draft choices. But when I dreamed up the contest, I envisioned Muammar Qaddafi on an outdoor court in some wild headdress and shades, jacking up insane threes and then getting into wild gesticulating arguments with his increasingly frustrated and angry teammates. So when Ben from Quebec stuck Colonel Q at the 2 spot, I knew we had a winner. Bonus points for Idi Amin at center: I can just imagine the menacing halftime locker room accusations: “Green Book my butt. I’m banging around in the post so you can do what?”
For winning the contest, Ben gets a free autographed copy of Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the North Korea Problem, as soon as it is published. Hopefully 2014. Congratulations, Ben!
But wait! There is another chance to win! We still are running the original Rodman Roster contest where readers pick the team that Worm will take with him to Pyongyang in January. Or February. And if it gets postponed another month it will bring new meaning to March Madness. Anyway, rumors swirling around the Rodman camp suggest that my algorithm of running a screen on former Rodman teammates and name recognizable NBA retirees with publicly acknowledged money woes may not be such a bad way of picking the team. And, hey, now that Allen Iverson is officially retired, AI is available!
Get your picks in! Employees of the International Crisis Group and Paddy Power and their dependents not eligible for entry.