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Wendy Reuer, Published March 08 2013

VIDEO: Dennis Rodman makes Fargo debut

FARGO – On his first trip here, retired NBA star and entrepreneur Dennis Rodman was ready to “feel the love.”

Rodman touched down late Friday night and was escorted straight to his engagement at JT Cigarro’s, where he is hosting the finals of the Liquid Ice Girl competition.

“I have no problem going around and seeing how people are,” Rodman said. “People don’t change; it’s just atmosphere. As long as everybody’s cool, everything’s fine.”

Rodman said it had been a long day of traveling already, starting at 6:30 a.m. and flying in from Miami, where he left 85-degree weather.

The hoops star, clad in mostly black with his famous black sunglasses, a Polo hat and grey boa, entered JT Cigarro to a round of cheers.

He quickly retreated to the VIP lounge while rounds of shots, drinks and a tray full of chicken wings were escorted in.

Rodman signed autographs and memorabilia including photos of himself and a doll made in his likeness for David Lout.

Lout said he drove all the way from his home in Aberdeen, S.D., to meet the NBA Hall of Famer.

A regular at the annual Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally, Rodman said he was familiar with the Dakotas but was surprised at the amount of snow Fargo-Moorhead had already.

“I’m good with the climate and the ambiance,” Rodman said. “I’m just going to relax. I’ve been on the road so many days now, I’m just going to chill.”

Fresh off a round of traveling, including his infamous visit to North Korea earlier this month, Rodman said he’ll be leaving Monday for Rome and other stops in Europe.

The latest season of Donald Trump’s reality series, “Celebrity Apprentice” started this week with Rodman returning to the show as part of the all-star celebrity cast.

Rodman said he’s got a number of projects in the works. He said the recent “goodwill trip to North Korea” was by invitation of leader Kim Jong Un to work on a documentary.

Friday, a film crew escorted Rodman to Fargo as he is in the midst of making a documentary about his own life.

A new vodka line will also be coming out soon along with a second book later this year, which will follow a children’s book Rodman recently penned.

The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau missed its chance to add Rodman to its Walk of Fame on Friday. Instead, Daniel O’Donnell, an Irish singer and performer known for his series of public television concerts, was inducted into the Fargo-Moorhead Celebrity Walk of Fame by putting his hands in cement.

Charley Johnson, CVB president, said Friday morning that staff simply didn’t think of adding Rodman to the attraction while he was in town.

“It was just an oversight,” Johnson said.

He added that it’s too late to schedule something for Rodman, citing the logistics of the event.

“I hope Dennis doesn’t feel slighted,” Johnson said. “Maybe the next time he comes to town. We’d love to have him in there.”

Rodman is scheduled to appear tonight at the second round of pageant finals at JT Cigarro. He leaves Sunday.

“It’s all love,” Rodman said.


Reporter Sam Benshoof contributed to this report. Readers can reach

Forum reporter Wendy Reuerat (701) 241-5530