PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Charles D. Wholesale Kings Jerseys . Smith says he feels remorse for coming to Pyongyang with Dennis Rodman for a game on the North Korean leaders birthday because the event has been dwarfed by politics and tainted by Rodmans own comments. Smith and other former NBA players are scheduled to play with Rodman against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday that organizers say leader Kim Jong Un is expected to attend. Many of the players on Tuesday privately expressed second thoughts about going ahead because of an outpouring of criticism back home in the United States. Smith, who played for the New York Knicks, said the North Korea trip has been dwarfed by politics and Rodmans frequent boasts about his close friendship with Kim. "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 Pyongyang on Monday with seven former NBA players and four streetballers for the game on Kims birthday, believed to be his 31st. Along with Smith, the squad features ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker. The game would be another milestone in Rodmans surprising relationship with basketball fan Kim, who rarely meets with outsiders and is possibly the worlds most mysterious leader. Rodman has called the game a "birthday present" for Kim but says he has received death threats for his repeated visits to this country and for calling Kim a "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 hell apologize for later." NBA Commissioner David Stern has distanced his organization from Rodmans squad. "The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodmans North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department," he said in a statement. "Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them." Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in late 2011. He travelled to the North for the first time last February and came back just before Christmas to hold tryouts for the North Korean basketball team, though he did not meet with Kim then. The plan to hold the game has been criticized because of the Norths human rights record, its development of nuclear weapons and its threats to use them if a conflict breaks out with Washington or Seoul. Rodman, in particular, has been slammed for not trying to use his influence with Kim to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary with health problems who is being held in North Korea on charges of "anti-state" crimes. Asked in a CNN satellite interview Tuesday whether he would raise the issue of Bae, Rodman yelled in response, "I dont give a rats ass what the hell you think. ... One day this door is going to open because these 10 guys here." Smith placed his arm around Rodmans shoulder and a hand on his arm in an attempt to calm Rodman down. "I feel bad for Dennis, I feel bad for the players," Smith said afterward, adding that when he played for the United States in the 1988 Olympics he felt elation. "I felt huge, I felt on top of the world. But I feel the reverse now," he said. "I feel a lot of remorse for the guys because we are doing something positive, but its a lot bigger than us. We are not naive, we understand why things are being portrayed the way they are. We cant do anything about that, if we could we would. "Were not skilled in those particular areas," he added. "Dennis is definitely not skilled in those particular areas." Chris Webber Jersey . Wayne and Cindy Tuck of Ilderton, Ont., closed out round-robin play earlier in the day with a 7-3 win over Finland but needed a win over Austria to reach the final eight. Marvin Bagley Jersey . But sometimes the way you lose takes precedence over the final score. And how the Jets lost the 5-4 game to the New York Islanders on Thursday is what had Coach Claude Noel hot after the game.Robyn Regehr is likely to make his Stanley Cup Final debut for the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 on Saturday night. Speaking to the media on Friday, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter announced Regehr will "probably play" as the team looks to take a 2-0 series lead over the New York Rangers. Regehr has not pplayed with the Kings since suffering an injury in Game 1 of his teams second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks. Richie Regan Jersey. . Sutter did not say who Regehr would replace in the lineup. Prior to his injury, Regehr notched two assists and an even plus-minus rating in eight playoff games. ' ' '
CLEVELAND -- The Browns are expecting Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon to practice this week as he awaits a possible suspension. Jevon Carter Jersey . Gordon reportedly failed another drug test and is facing a one-year ban. Gordon led the NFL in yards receiving last season despite being suspended two games for violating the leagues substance-abuse policy. ESPN reported that Gordon tested positive for marijuana. The Browns are awaiting word on Gordons suspension. The team made moves last week in preparation of losing Gordon by signing veteran free agent wide receivers Miles Austin and Earl Bennett. Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that its his "expectation" that Gordon will be on the field for this weeks organized team activities. Gordon has yet to comment on his unclear situation. Richard Dumas Jersey .ca Fantasy Editor Scott Cullen, NFL Editor Ben Fisher, and Isaac Owusu discuss three hot fantasy football topics. Boris Diaw Jersey . The cause of his death is as of yet undetermined, but police said foul play is not suspected.PHILADELPHIA - The family of the late NFL star Junior Seau plans to object to the proposed US$765 million settlement of player concussion claims because the fund would not pay wrongful death claims to survivors. Although the players lawsuits accused the NFL of concealing known concussion risks, there would be no blame assessed as part of the settlement, and no punitive damages for pain and suffering. "Mr. Seaus children have their own claims for the wrong the NFL did to them. His children are not suing for their fathers pain and suffering, they are suing for their own," lawyer Steven M. Strauss wrote in a court filing Friday that signalled the familys intent to pursue an individual lawsuit. Other potential critics to the settlement reached by players lawyers and the league are also starting to emerge — and the judge overseeing the case has herself expressed doubts the sum is big enough. About 50 plaintiffs lawyers met in New York last week to learn more about the settlement from the lead lawyers, but some left dissatisfied. "This could be a great settlement, this could be a terrible settlement, but I dont know," said Chicago lawyer Thomas A. Demetrio, who represents 10 players, including the family of the late Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowler who mostly played with the Chicago Bears. Duerson fatally shot himself in the chest, leaving his brain intact for autopsy. Like Seau, he was diagnosed with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. An honours graduate and trustee of the University of Notre Dame, he was 50 when he died, which would factor into his familys payout. "His estate will receive $2.2 million. Thats not adequate," Demetrio said. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, who must weigh the deal, also wants more actuarial details than filed with the settlement papers. She preliminarily rejected the plan last month, questioning whether $765 million will be enouugh to fund about 20,000 claims involved for 65 years, as promised. Custom Phoenix Suns Jerseys . The architects of the plan argue that the players could end up with nothing if the lawsuits are thrown out of court. The NFL had argued that the claims belonged in arbitration. The retirees would also have to prove their injuries came from NFL concussions, and not those suffered earlier. "The retired player community has provided overwhelming support for this agreement, and we look forward to finalizing it soon so they can begin taking advantage of its benefits," lead lawyers Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss said in a statement Monday that recognized the work of other lawyers on the case. The NFL settlement, if approved in court, would be capped at $4 million on behalf of players diagnosed after their deaths with traumatic brain injury. The payments could go as high as $5 million for younger men with Alzheimers disease, but many more plaintiffs with mild dementia would get $25,000 or less under the deal. Demetrio wants to know how much of the NFLs payment will come from insurance, and why the lawyers would split another $112 million, when the case did not reach discovery or trial. The NFLs annual revenues top $9 billion. "Its very, very unusual ... for all the plaintiffs to not know whats going on," Demetrio said. "Theyre acting like the Lone Ranger." The Seau Family, meanwhile, is also concerned that the deal calls for a stay on individual suits until all appeals are finalized with the settlement. "Junior Seaus children could be forced to wait years for justice, while the NFL continues to make billions of dollars and the memories of witnesses grow ever more distant," the filing said. The NFL, which on Monday joined two U.S. lawmakers in pushing for legislation to help protect student athletes from concussions, declined comment Monday on the Seau familys objections. ' ' '