PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Former Pitt basketball star Charles Smith has found himself in the middle of a controversy as he recently traveled to North Korea with a group of former basketball players led by Dennis Rodman to play a game for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s birthday.

You can see the CNN video here that has added fuel to the fire for Smith as he jumped into the conversation between Rodman and CNN host Chris Cuomo as they debated why the group would travel to North Korea while the country held American citizen Kenneth Bae captive and sentenced to 15 years in prison for “hostile acts” against the nation.

Smith has since spoken out telling the Associated Press that ” What we are doing is positive, but it is getting dwarfed by the other circumstances around it.  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.”

Smith also referenced representing the United States in the World Games in 1998 saying it was a moment in which he felt elation, but admits “I feel the reverse now.”

The FAN Morning Show talked about Smith and this whole situation earlier today and Gregg Giannotti called it “the largest, most pathetic display of a former athlete or former athletes doing something for money.”

You can hear the rest of that segment on The FAN Morning Show here

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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