Dennis Rodman Bound for Russia to Advocate for Brittney Griner's Release

NBA legend Dennis Rodman, who developed a relationship with Vladimir Putin in recent years, says he "got permission to go to Russia" to advocate for Brittney Griner's release from jail and is "trying to go this week." Plus, more NBA news.

Dennis Rodman to go to Russia to help free Brittney Griner from jail

Legendary former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, who has reinvented himself as a peace ambassador, says he plans to visit Russia to advocate for the release of Brittney Griner from prison.

"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman told NBC News. "I'm trying to go this week."

Rodman added that he knew Russian President Vladimir Putin "too well."

Rodman did not divulge whether the "permission" to visit Russia came from the United States or from Moscow, Newsmax reported.

However, NBC reported that a senior Biden administration official told the outlet that Rodman's visit was more likely to hurt than help.

"It’s public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts," the official said regarding Rodman's intervention.

The US State Department has previously issued a level 4 travel advisory for American citizens planning to visit Russia or Moscow.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said on Sunday the agency was aware of reports of Rodman's intended travel to Russia, Fox reported

Earlier this month, Griner, a WNBA star who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges, having been held since February of this year after being arrested in a Russian airport.

Heat's Udonis Haslem to return for 20th and final NBA season

Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem announced he will be returning for his 20th and final NBA season. He will become only the third player in league history to spend 20 seasons with a single team, CBSSports reported.

Haslem went undrafted and has been with Miami since 2003. He earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2004. He holds three regular-season franchise records including: Most rebounds (5,780), Most defensive rebounds (4,169), and Most offensive rebounds (1,611). He also has the most playoff offensive rebounds (230). He won three NBA championships with the Heat in 2006, 2012, and 2013.

Celtics' Jayson Tatum miserable after Finals loss

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum says he was "miserable" after the Celtics fell to the Warriors in a hard-fought, six-game series in the NBA finals, NBC Sports reported.

Despite a strong performance--Tatum averaged 21.5 points, 7.0 assists, and 6.8 rebounds across six games--it wasn’t enough to overcome the Warriors' roster with its prior championship experience.

"You know, those three, four days afterward, I was miserable," Tatum said in an interview on Sunday. "I really, really was. And it took some time to kind of get out of that funk and just kind of enjoy my life, enjoy being around my son and my family."