Chris Cuomo sits Down With Dennis Rodman Live From Rehab Treatment Center

In a New Day exclusive, CNN's Chris Cuomo sat down with basketball star Dennis Rodman for live interview from the rehab facility he checked himself into after returning home from North Korea.  In the in-depth interview Rodman discussed his battle with alcoholism, his trip to North Korea, his comments about Kenneth Bae, and his controversial interview with Chris Cuomo while he was in North Korea.  Rodman also invites Cuomo to accompany him on a visit to the Hermit Kingdom. 

Here is a complete transcript of the interview, courtesy of CNN:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR:  All right, Kate.  Thank you very much. I’m here now with Dennis Rodman.  We're in a rehabilitation facility.

You wanted to have this interview.  You said you had some things you wanted to get off your chest. Let's start with the obvious.  Why are we here?  Why are you here, Dennis?

DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER:  Oh, well, you know -- why am I here?  Well, I think it goes back a while, a way back.  I think the fact all the things I’ve been going through the last year and a half, but -- certain situations and I think that this is a great time for me to come here to reflect and try to put myself at ease, at peace with a lot things that's been going on with me for the last year and a half.

And I thought this was an appropriate time to be here to try to gather my thoughts, gather my views about life and which direction I wanted to go.

CUOMO:  How do you work on controlling alcohol?

RODMAN:  Well, I wish people wouldn't say it like that because I’ve always been a party animal.  And I’ve always said to the media and to the world that, you know what?  I don't hurt anyone.  I never carry a gun.  I never had a gun.  I don't have a knife.  I don't have anything that would damage anyone's, their future about what they do in life.  That's not my job.

My job is to do one thing and that is to be a professional entertainer and human being on this planet to entertain people and keep people happy and keep people strong and keep people's spirits uplifting.  I think I’ve done a great job at that.

But I think that, for me, the reason I drink is because I’m bored.

CUOMO:  You drink because you're bored.

RODMAN:  Absolutely.  I’ve been saying that for years, ever since 1993, because I need to be active, I need to be productive and keep my mind on life in general.

CUOMO:  But drinking does all the opposite things doesn't it, Dennis?


RODMAN:  Well, I guess, you know, you want to ask all the hard questions.  I’m the only guy in the world to answer these questions.  I come straight at you. You know, I speak from my heart and I speak from my sleeves.  I got to say, Chris, you can ask me anything in the world.  I will not mention anything like that.

CUOMO:  You think I’m asking you hard questions or obvious one.  We're in a rehab center.  First step is we admit we're powerless over alcohol.

RODMAN:  Well, (INAUDIBLE) I think to the fact that, you know, if you give a person that you give an interview to, given an interview, an opportunity to speak out.  I’ve been in rehabs, but for me rehab -- it’s like I don't have to drink.  I came to the realization 15 years ago, I don't really have to drink, you know?  I don't need to go in a bar or a restaurant and feening for alcohol.  That's not my job.

You know, I did it for recreational purposes.  Like most people in the world, when they go to the bar or a restaurant, you know, 90 percent of the people in the world have a drink.  It could it be a glass of wine.  It could be anything that's very simple, you know?

And for me, it's more like I love to have a good time.  I love to be around people to have a good time.  And for me, yes, I admitted so many times to that, hey, I drink and people know that.  Am I alcoholic?  Absolutely.  I can't deny that.


CUOMO:  Did you dome rehab to try to control the addiction and try to take it out of your life or something else?

RODMAN:  Well, I said it to Dr. Drew.  Like I said, I’m a human first.  I’m not a product, I’m a human first.

And the one thing that people, for human beings in America has always done or people in America they always have gave people first, second, third chances.  And to redeem themselves and try to be a part of society, with or without alcohol, with or without drugs, people always have that heart of hearts to know that, you know what, people are trying to get help.

CUOMO:  So, let's talk redemption.  Last interview we had -- were you drunk in that interview?

RODMAN:  Oh, my God, really?

CUOMO:  Were you?  That's what I’ve been told.

RODMAN:  You know what?  I think the fact that when I was in North Korea, after the game, stuff like that, yes, we had -- absolutely we had a lot of drinks.  You know, we partied after the game. We went back to the hotel.  We had some wine and some sake, stuff like that.  Absolutely.

CUOMO:  During the interview, were you of right mind?

RODMAN:  No, it wasn't about me being in the right mind.  I want people to understand this.  It wasn't about that. I think the fact when a certain person asks you a question when they are not supposed to ask you that question, at that particular time, knowing the fact that I wasn't in the state to really properly answer that question, I think it was unfair.  And -- but, you know --

CUOMO:  So, your answer was the way it was because you thought me asking you about it was unfair?

RODMAN:  I think the fact that, you know, you wanted a story you could have at least asked me first.  I think that was the proper thing to do.  And at the moment, you know, I didn't think too much about it. And I told you before this interview, I said, I don't hate you, man.  You're just doing your job.  You know, I'll treat you like anybody else.  I'll shake your hand, hug you, we can go out and have a cigar anytime of the day.

CUOMO:  That works both ways.  I mean, I asked the question because I feel it's so obvious, they are so important to how people view you and what's going on with this situation --

RODMAN:  Right.

CUOMO:  -- that I cannot ask them.

RODMAN:  Absolutely.

CUOMO:  I mean, when you call somebody a friend who a lot of people believe is one of the most dangerous people in the world, you got to answer for that.  You got to explain it.

RODMAN:  Absolutely.

CUOMO:  So the question is now that you've had some time to get your thoughts together here do you believe that trip was something you shouldn't have done.  Do you believe the way you acted in the interview was something you shouldn't have done?

RODMAN:  Well, like I said, I’m not going to say too much because I’m going to do a press conference next week in New York, and like I told you I’m going to have an open mic for anyone in the world, any press that wants to come to see this interview, they can ask me anything in the world about North Korea.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR:  I asked you the question is because I feel it's so obvious, they’re so important to how people view you and what's going on with this situation.  That I cannot ask them.


CUOMO:  I mean, when you call somebody a friend who a lot of people believe is one of the most dangerous people in the world, you got to answer for that.  You got to explain it.

RODMAN:  Absolutely.

CUOMO:  So, the question is, now that you've had some time to get your thoughts together here, do you believe that trip was something you shouldn't have done?  Do you believe the way you acted in the interview was something you shouldn't have done?

RODMAN:  Well, like I said, I’m not going to say too much, because I will do a press conference next week in New York, and like I told you, I will have an open mic for anyone in the world, any press that wants to come and see this interview.  They can ask me anything in the world about North Korea.  And like I said, I speak from my heart.  And like I said, I'm a human first.

What I said in the media, stuff like that, like I said, I don't know the -- as a dictator.  I don’t know him like that.  All I know with the fact with him is more like he's a 31-year-old guy and I call him a kid all the time.  And I said, yes, he's my friend.  I look at him like that because he gave me the opportunity to at least come in to the country of North Korea to bring a basketball team, to show the world, just show the world that we can actually get along, Americans and North Korea.

I wasn't trying to look in the history book and what really went on back what his grandfather or his father, that wasn't my job.

CUOMO:  Or him.

RODMAN:  Or him.  It wasn't my job.  It wasn’t my job.  That wasn't my assignment to go over, hey, you know, Kim Jong-Un, can I come over here and ask you questions about why you're such a bad guy.  That wasn’t my job.  Now, we go into the political stage of this.  That wasn't my job.  And I said that from day one.  I'm not an ambassador.  I'm not, you know, a diplomat.  That's not my job.

CUOMO:  I agree.

RODMAN:  My job was to go and do one thing, to go do a documentary with a team from Beijing and we did the documentary stuff right there.

CUOMO:  Now, did you go over there originally because you were getting paid or was this out of some sense of purpose or both?

RODMAN:  (INAUDIBLE).  I’ll explain this.  I didn't believe -- thought I was going to North Korea at all.  You know, that just popped out of the blue.  This company in Beijing wanted us to do a documentary with them with the North Korea.

CUOMO:  So, it was about getting paid, though, also, right?

RODMAN:  The one thing that anyone in the world especially professional basketball, anything like that, I said, it’s my first game in the league (ph).  I said, guess what?  You can pay me a dollar I'll still play the game of basketball.  Phil Jackson, anybody in the world -- it's not about the money.  It's never been about the money.

CUOMO:  All right.  So, it's not about the money.  You go there to do the documentary.  I get that you're not an ambassador.  I get that.  I get that you're not about the politics.  I get that.  But, you have to get that when you call this man your friend, and you seem to suggest that he's not a bad guy, and see there's no not to you.

There’s either, he’s good guy or he’s a bad guy and there's really not a close call on this, Dennis, because of the atrocities that happened there that he's responsible for, that the regime is responsible for, the oppression, what's happened with his uncle.  You got to deal with that.  He can be whatever you want him to be to you, Dennis.

But you have to be open to people being really upset by the idea that you’d call him a friend and a good guy when he does very bad things.  Do you get that?

RODMAN:  Well, you know, I get that.  But I just say the same thing, you know, this is like wow, you know?  I keep telling people, I'm not there to be an ambassador to try to figure out why did you go -- why are you doing all these things.  That's not my job.  My job is to go there and do one thing, to go there and see if I can actually bring two countries together for at least a couple of days, to see that we can actually get along.

CUOMO:  Just avoid it.  Just avoid talking about him at all.  Don't say he's a good guy and my friend.

RODMAN:  But I know that.  But you know what?  You know what's amazing.  Since I've been in this place here, you know, Gorbachev?

CUOMO:  I do.

RODMAN:  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  Did anyone say the fact that Gorbachev was president of Russia and we went over there and try to make amends and try to blend us and Russia together?  Did anyone even talk about stuff like that?  Because I thought, you know, as I've been saying TV, I don't know anything about politics, but -- TV.  Russia was the first country to have nuclear wars, nuclear weapons while we, as Americans, that we always do.

We, as Americans, are the forefront that would take anyone in because we love people.  We love people in America.  I love people.  I'm not judging because, you know, that person did something really, really bad.  I don't know.

CUOMO:  You can know.  The answer is yes, he did.  And you got to judge him by what he did.  He's not just somebody looking for a new chance.

RODMAN:  I know that.  But, you know what?  I know that.  But you know what, I think that, you know, in the bible, everyone reads the bible, right?  I mean, everyone reads the bible.

CUOMO:  And?

RODMAN:  No matter what color, what creed, or what bloodline you are, we on this planet, we are human beings first.  I'm sorry, you know, that people think that I'm just leaning towards he's a great guy.  I want to live in North Korea.  No.  That’s not even about that.

CUOMO:  The first part is, though, that yes, he's a great guy.  I don't know him that way.  I don't know what he did.  He's my friend.

RODMAN:  I just look at him like -- guess what?  As I saying, Chris, I'll ask you a question one thing.

CUOMO:  Please.

RODMAN:  Let me just ask you a question.

CUOMO:  Please.

RODMAN:  You were in North Korea, right?

CUOMO:  No, I haven't been there.  I'll go there with you.

RODMAN:  You go with me.  I will give you this opportunity now on national TV, on national TV.

CUOMO:  Yes.


RODMAN:  I will take you over there and introduce you to him.


CUOMO:  Great.


RODMAN:  And I will love you to come back here and tell the world, tell the world, in person-to-person with him, is he a nice guy when you meet him.  When you meet him.  Not politics.  When you meet him and sit down and have dinner with him and -- I want you to come -- I'm giving you the invitation.


CUOMO:  I’ll take it.


RODMAN:  That’s what I say --


CUOMO:  I take the invitation.  I take the invitation.


RODMAN:  I will take you -- I want you to go over there and see for your own eyes.


CUOMO:  Yes.


RODMAN:  I'm not worried about the politics.  If he does these things -- I'm sorry.


CUOMO:  There's no if.




RODMAN:  I don't go to the camps.  I don't do anything.




CUOMO:  That's your choice.  But they’re there.


RODMAN:  That's great.  That's great.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.


CUOMO:  You don't have to apologize for it.  You don't have to apologize for it.  It's not your fault.  I'm just saying you have to understand while when you try to make this man into something that he is not, it upsets people.  That's it.  I take your invitation.  Let's see how I feel when I meet him.  I'll go with you, whenever you want.  Whenever you want.


I’d be surprised, I'll tell you this, though, Dennis, as close as you are, as tight as you are with this man, I’d be surprised if they let me come with you.  I’d be surprised if they let me come with you, Dennis.  You got to ask yourself why.  Why don't we want this guy?


RODMAN:  You know what?  Please, people take this in the right way, you know, I'm not trying to take the spotlight away from the Super Bowl.  It's a great week for New York people.  A great week for people around the world.  It’s going to be a great weekend and stuff like that.  But I want to come on and say this because I want people to understand this.  You know, I'm not a traitor.


I've never been a traitor.  I’ve never been anything, but one thing, to people happy in the world.  That's my whole goal right now is to make people happy, Ebcause I've done everything in the world between the time I was born to 52 years old.  And I’m still happy.  And I’m blessed the fact I'm still living.  I'm so happy the fact I got great people around me.  You know (INAUDIBLE), Phil Jackson --


CUOMO:  People believe in you.


RODMAN:  People believe in me and know the fact that I don’t mean no harm.


CUOMO:  People think you have a good heart.


RODMAN:  I have a great heart.  Guess what, my intentions are not bad intentions.  And I want people to understand that, you know?  When I was playing basketball, people loved the hell out of me.


CUOMO:  They still do.




CUOMO:  I know, because they came at me for our last interview.  A lot of people who support you, Dennis.  That's not what it's about.  You know, you say you’re here.  I want to take a little quick break here.  So, we'll give the show a little bit of a rest.  We’ll come back and keep talking to Dennis, but it puts us to where we are right now.  You're trying to figure out what comes next for you, in here, in here, and in the outside world.


RODMAN:  Right.


CUOMO:  I'm very interested in where you're going to go from here.  So, let's take a break and we'll come back with Dennis.


RODMAN:  All right.




CUOMO:  All right.  Welcome back to NEW DAY.  We're still here with Dennis.  You're smiling.  You’re laughing.  I guess that's good.  How is it going so far?


RODMAN:  I’m just smiling, because it's awesome to be alive.  And it's very encouraging the fact that, you know, I have an opportunity to speak my mind on national TV around the world.  And like I said, I want to say hello to my kids.  Hope you guys are watching this.  Daddy is safe.  And he's trying to get things together.  And hopefully that I'll see you guys soon.  That's all I want to say.


CUOMO:  That happens to be the most important.  When you think about why you're here, are your kids at the top of the list?


RODMAN:  Well, you know, I said it, you know, around the world.  And I think people always respected me from saying what my heart feels and what I said in the hall of fame speech, you know what?  The one thing I regret is the fact I haven't been a great dad.  I've been an awful dad, you know, because of the things I've been doing and some mishaps I've been doing and stuff like that that I have no control over.


Like I said, one day, I will be that father and like I said, there's a lot of steps that I have to take before I die.  And this is one of the major ones I take to show my kids that, you know, I'm not a dead beat dad.  I'm always a cool guy.  You can come to and we can show the crown.  And like I said, I will be a father one day and like I say, you know, things don't happen overnight.


CUOMO:  What does it take to you get there?  What's that struggle about?


RODMAN:  Just release a lot of inhibition about Dennis Rodman, you know?  I came just be Dennis Rodman all the time.


CUOMO:  Who is Dennis Rodman --






RODMAN:  You create this monster, Dennis and, all of a sudden, you can't get out.  I can get out.  It just depends if I want to get out.  You know, it’s just like being in the rehab or whatever, trying to face your, you know, your inhibitions and your demons and stuff like that, what drives you to do some things you do.


CUOMO:  What is that life for you?


RODMAN:  What’s that life for me?  You know, it has its good and its bad.  You know, it's like a seesaw.  Stuff like that.  But I think I've had the opportunity of all these years, of all the years to try to balance it out.  And I've told myself and I told other people, you know what?  Yes, I tell people absolutely if I drink two or three days in a row, yes, I'm an alcoholic.


Absolutely.  I have no shame in that.  I have no shame in that.  But I told Dr. Drew when I was on the show that, you know, he asked me "can you stop drinking," and I said, "I don't think so."  And that's honestly -- that’s honest.


CUOMO:  What does that mean to you that you don’t think you can stop drinking.


RODMAN:  I've seen myself -- I've seen myself grow up at the age of 45, 50 years old.  I'm always a kid at heart first, but I’ve seen myself over the last five years really grown up to have my eyes open instead of, you know, walking around with blinders and think that, hey, you know, I’m the shit.




CUOMO:  We're on cable.


RODMAN:  Thank God, all right.  So, you know, I said I'm here to do one thing, to try to keep everything in perspective, to realize that I don't need to put myself in harm's way to drink or do anything.


CUOMO:  But you got people who are worried about you.  I mean, you know, look, we joke around about what this interview, what’s hard questions, what isn't.  You know what, North Korea is what it is.  That situation is what it is.  I'll tell you what I think the hard discussion is.  It’s the big reason I’m here, as you know.  This is no joke what goes on in a place like this.


And, I have less concern about what happens with you and foreign policy than I do about how you take this opportunity, what it means because people don't come here just to get their head together.  You know, if you want to face up -- everybody drinks for a reason, Dennis.  It’s never just to have a good time.  You know that.  I don't need to lecture you about it.


But, it's hard.  I know it's hard.  I'm just not hearing that process.  It just sounds like this is just kind of like, you know, a little rest point for you to kind of collect yourself and move forward as opposed to taking on addiction.  Is that fair?


RODMAN:  Well, I've had my addiction for the last 20 years.  I don’t want that.  You think it don’t take effect?  Oh, Lord.  Yes, it does.  Yes, it does.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Have a good time. You know that. I don't need to lecture you about it. But it's hard. I know it's hard. I'm just not hearing that process. It just sounds like this is just kind of like, you know, a little rest point for you to kind of collect yourself and move forward, as opposed to taking on addiction. Is that fair?


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, I’ve taken on addiction for the last 20 years. I know one thing. You think it don't take effect (ph)? Oh, Lord. Hell, yes, it does. Yes, it does.


CUOMO: But you’re still -- you still drink too much sometimes and make people worried about you.


RODMAN: And – well, to be realistic, you know what, it’s like – it’s like saying to me, if I see somebody else -- if I saw say -- if I saw you -- say if I saw you drinking and you drank two or three days in a row, guess what, is that my responsibility to tell you, hey, I, you know, I care about you. Would you stop drinking, please?


CUOMO: Yes, it is. If you love me, if you care about me.


RODMAN: Well, (INAUDIBLE). If it -- is that going to make you stop drinking because I said so?


CUOMO: No, I’ve got to bottom out.


RODMAN: But you have to – you have to sit there and do this (ph). That's what I’ve been doing for the last 15, 20 years.


CUOMO: Bottoming out?


RODMAN: No, no, (INAUDIBLE) I can do my thing (ph). I've been curbing my addiction. I’ve been curbing it. Believe me, curbing it.


CUOMO: Curbing it.


RODMAN: I’ve been curbing the fact that, you know, when you have to start somewhere because when you come into any rehab facility and the doctor go – the doctor is going to tell you this, anyone that comes to any rehab, no matter what it is, alcohol, drugs or anything, sex, or whatever, they want you to come in as an addiction. And when you – when you --


CUOMO: As an addict?


RODMAN: No, as an addict. So basically when you come in to the rehab, they don't just cut you off completely. They don't do that. They have to do one thing. They wean you off slowly. Understand that. They wean you off slowly. They just don't say, hey, stop drinking now.


CUOMO: It’s still hard.


RODMAN: It’s just way too hard. It’s way too hard. You’ve got to have a few days to get – get everything (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: This is important stuff. This is the process. This is what people need to hear.


Let's take a break, bring in the doctor. Let’s talk about the process, because this is a situation, Dennis Rodman’s a big man, he’s a famous man, he’s a man who knows how to control himself on many levels. A lot of people find themselves right here and they don't know where to go.


RODMAN: Right.


CUOMO: Let's bring in the doctor. Let’s have this conversation. It’s important.


We're going to take a break on NEW DAY. We’ll be right back with where Dennis and his doctors are trying to chart the course forward.





CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.


We’re, of course, with Dennis Rodman. We're here with one of his doctors, Dr. Manuel Guantez. We're going to be talking about the process here, what we're all hoping happens for Dennis and others who find themselves in this – but let’s stitch something up.


We were talking about redemption and putting North Korea in the past. You’re going to deal with in a different press conference.


RODMAN: Right.


CUOMO: But one thing – because you're in here, you’re trying to process thoughts. Do you have something that you feel is important to say to your teammates who were there with you, to the Bae family? You know, your words meant a lot to them then in a hurtful way. Maybe now there's some healing for you to do. Something you want to say to them?


RODMAN: Well, I – (INAUDIBLE), I’m going to say it again, you know, I'm not an ambassador and I tried to describe it and tell people, just because I know the marshal, that don’t mean that I’m -- know the marshal like that. And I don't know anything about the guy, Kenneth Bae. I know nothing about him. I never knew anything. I didn't know who he was. And people think that I knew that --


CUOMO: You also suggested in the interview, though, that he had done something wrong and (ph) the (ph) apology (INAUDIBLE).


RODMAN: But then – and I (INAUDIBLE). I never said what he did, because I didn't know what he did.


CUOMO: All right.


RODMAN: I said – you know what he did?


CUOMO: But you kind of suggested like he did something wrong.


RODMAN: No, when I said – but then I asked – I went back to the question. I said, do you know what did? And then people respond so bad. I was like, whoa, I –


CUOMO: So you don't think he did anything wrong? That’s not (ph) what you’re saying?


RODMAN: Well, but – I’ll put it like this (ph), I don’t, to this say, I still don't know what he did.


CUOMO: All right.


RODMAN: I never suggested I knew. I said, did you know what he did? Did you know what he did? Do you know? I --


CUOMO: For an offense to the Bae family, do you want to apologize?


RODMAN: Well, put it like this, apologize to the Bae family. I don’t even know the Bae family and I keep trying to tell you, I have sympathy to the fact that I don’t want anyone to go in any country or anywhere in the world to be hostage for something maybe they did or did not do. You know, I’m not – like I said, I’m not in government. I don’t know what – how that works. But dealing with the Bae family, you know, I -- like I said, I feel for them. I feel for them deeply, but I don’t – it was, like I said, like this, I would do anything – I would do anything literally – this is – this is Dennis Rodman talking. If they said we'll take Dennis Rodman and we’ll let Kenneth Bae go, I said, you know what, I’d do that. Straight ahead (ph), I’d do it. Take me. And that away –


CUOMO: Now that offer is very generous.


RODMAN: No, no, I said –


CUOMO: That offer should not extend to you when I go with you to North Korea.


RODMAN: Like I said, (INAUDIBLE) credit (INAUDIBLE). I would do that. I would do that.


CUOMO: When I go to North Korea with you –


RODMAN: I would do – I would do –


CUOMO: Don’t say, take him and let Kenneth Bae go.


RODMAN: I would do – I would do that. If they say that, I’ll say, yes, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.


CUOMO: You would change (ph) yourself for him.


RODMAN: I would do – I would do -- I have no problem with that. Guess what --


CUOMO: Fifteen years of hard labor.


RODMAN: We’ll play this. Fifteen years of hard labor. But, you know what, like I said, I’m not going to get in depth with that. That’s Obama – that’s Obama if he wants to address that to the people in the world and stuff like that. And it just – he has to clear this up, you know, and people think that I hate Obama. I don’t hate Obama. I think Obama has done a hell of a job under the pressure (INAUDIBLE). I give him credit. You know, you catch me saying certain things in -- off key. Like I said, it’s my fault. And, like I said, I like the guy. The guy is cool as hell. He’s from Chicago.


CUOMO: All right. So you own what you said in the past. You apologized for what apologies you have to make and now it’s about how you move forward.


And that brings us to you, doctor.


As we were talking earlier, I’ve spent a lot of time, as you know, over the years, understanding, working in and around the rehab process. This is unusual to have somebody who wants to come in during the treatment, see it as part of their healing process. Explain it to me, doc.


DR. MANUEL GUANTEZ, CEO, TURNING POINT: Well, much like you said before, it's very unusual in the middle of a process for someone to come and sort of start asking and sort of probing and taking the focus off what it is you might be working on. You know, I was struck by something that was said before and I just -- it's on my mind. I don't want it to get lost. When somebody says "I party." There's million Americans this weekend, the Super Bowl’s coming up, that are going to party from Friday to Sunday. And Monday maybe. And they are going to say, I don't have a problem. I just party. They have a problem. Families suffer. People suffer. You know, there's, I think, going into much like you said, going into a place like this, beginning to sort of understand yourself and understand, do I have a problem, can I cutback, does that work for me? Some people can. Some people can't.


CUOMO: Why do you believe it can be healing for Dennis to come out and talk about these issues and put out there how he really feels? How is that part of the process?


GUANTEZ: Well, working your steps, making amends is a part of the process. But one of the things that is unorthodox to do this here now, but one of the things that was happening with Dennis and much like you see, this is on his mind. It's on his mind 24/7. So there are many times you can't start to do the work until you take care of some things. And I think this is important for him.


CUOMO: Does it make sense to you?


RODMAN: It makes sense. I mean you just can't come in and say, you know what, I want to treat this problem. You’ve got to treat everything that’s really – that really has been – has been a big trigger to you over the years. And so I –


CUOMO: You know what those things are?


RODMAN: I don’t – I don’t really have a trigger, you know. The only trigger I have is the fact that, you know, I need to, you know, like I said, be a better father. I think I got a couple of things in my life I need to really, you know, pay attention to and hopefully that people will just look at me and say, hey, you know what, at least I'm trying. This is not – this is not something I’m just coming here, OK, great, he's here for vacation, really, you know?


CUOMO: You vouch for that, doc? Have you seen Dennis working the program a little bit while he's in here?


GUANTEZ: Oh, sure. I've spent hours with him.




GUANTEZ: Spent a lot of time with him.


RODMAN: We talk (ph).


CUOMO: Did he bad mouth me a lot when he –


RODMAN: (INAUDIBLE) bad mouthed you.


GUANTEZ: Umm, I can’t –




GUANTEZ: Disclose that information at the moment.


CUOMO: So what has to happen to go forward? What has to happen? For this to actually work, what has to happen on your side and then I want to hear what the doctor thinks about what you say.


RODMAN: Well, as you know, people are going to see me in public. And the first thing people are going to say, well we just saw him at a club, we just saw him at a hotel, we just saw him here, we saw him there. The first picture (ph) you're going to see about me, oh, my God, he’s had a drink or he’s doing this. That didn't really work for Dennis. Guess what, really? You know, I'm high-profile no matter what because of this North Korea and all this other stuff. What for me is going to work is the fact that, you know, I can't go out there and preach the, you know, the 12 steps of being sober. I can't do that.


CUOMO: Yes, because you're not following it.


RODMAN: No, but that’s – (INAUDIBLE). You know my – if I follow them in one to 12 or six to 12 or six to one, it don’t matter how – this is the way I follow them. If I can do at least half of that, half the battle just was won. If I can do half of that, you know. In my own way, if I can do it, great. At least – at least I've tried. I tried.


CUOMO: Can you not drink?

RODMAN: No, I can’t play this (ph).

CUOMO: Can you not drink?

RODMAN: Let me play (ph) this. It’s like saying, can I not drink?

CUOMO: Can you not drink?

RODMAN: You mean water?

CUOMO: Can you not abuse alcohol or other substances?

RODMAN: No, I don’t – I don’t play (ph) this. I don't need to play this. I don’t need to abuse alcohol because, guess what, that's not – that is not the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning is to go have a drink. No. My first thing on my mind (ph) is, what I’m going to do today to make a better day the next day. That’s my thing right there. If I don’t have anything to do, yes, I go out and smoke my cigars, yes, I go out there and have a good time. Absolutely. Can I say that with a straight face? No, I cannot say that with a straight face. I’m going to say, you know what, if I have a drink, great. Is that -- am I relapsing? I don't think so because I'm telling the world, you know, I'm trying to do it. I’m trying to do it.

CUOMO: I hear Dennis. He’s earnest. But, doctor, we both know, does it -- it rarely works that way.

GUANTEZ: It rarely works that way. But, you know, one of the things that I was struck by, you know, Dennis, you know, we have a lot of science now that tells us many thing. But the first things that I learned when I came to this field are people, places and things. And Dennis lives in an environment where he is in clubs, he is in -- sort of on the stage. He was telling me he walks into a bar and before he sits down people bought him 10 drinks. Even somebody with the best recovery would be challenged by that. So he has a challenge. He has a real – a challenge that way.

CUOMO: And –

RODMAN: (INAUDIBLE) can you – like this, can you – can you leave this facility – and I'm talk to you directly, I’m talking to the world too, can you go in any facility and then leave that facility and go to a restaurant, them know that you're a drinker and they say, here's 10 drinks? I mean everywhere you go people are saying, here's 10 drinks. Oh, here’s five – let’s have a shot, let's have a shot, let’s have a shot all the time. I mean literally all the time.

CUOMO: Dennis, it's your choice.

RODMAN: But I know –

CUOMO: It’s your choice.

RODMAN: But I know it's my choice, but the deal is, I'm just asking a question. I own restaurants and bars, stuff like that. I –

CUOMO: You can go and not drink.

RODMAN: (INAUDIBLE). I was sober for 19 months. I did it by myself and I own nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

CUOMO: That's great.

RODMAN: But, guess what, my friends took care of me when I was in bars. They said, no, he's not drinking. He stopped drinking.

CUOMO: Good.

RODMAN: Guess what, that’s why I say I have great friends. I have great friends around me. And you keep – you keep wanting to pressure this and saying, guess what, Dennis is not following the steps. I have followed steps.

CUOMO: Listen, I’m just one of the people who wants to see you do your best. That’s all I am, Dennis.

RODMAN: Well, I’m going to do that. Like I said, I'm not going to die (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: I’m going to watch you.

RODMAN: I’m not going to die of alcohol. I'll tell you that right now. I’ll never die of alcohol. I’ll make sure of that.

CUOMO: Great.

RODMAN: Now that I’ve got people like this around me, I’m not going to ever die of alcohol. And, please, guys, if you guys are out there, if you want to help me in my recovery when I come out, please, be free to come over and say, Dennis, thank you, you're trying. Please, do that for me. That’s all I’m asking.

CUOMO: Doctor, thank you for being part of this process.

GUANTEZ: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Helping us make it happen. Dennis, I appreciate the opportunity. I'll talk to you whenever you want.


CUOMO: And I'll go with you to North Korea.


CUOMO: But we know you better watch my back when we’re over in North Korea.

RODMAN: I got you, man. I got you. I got you, brother.

CUOMO: All right.

RODMAN: OK, baby.