Now Dennis Rodman is in Rome and he wants to meet the new Pope

Former basketball star wants a ride in the popemobile, too

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman walks out of a a street near St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 13, 2013. (Riccardo De Luca/AP)

It wasn’t enough to meet Kim Jong Un, one of the most reviled leaders in the world. Now former basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman says he’s on his way to Rome to meet the next Pope.

Gossip site TMZ reported Tuesday that Rodman said his “people” were in touch with sources in The Vatican who were going to arrange a meeting with the new pontiff. “I want to be anywhere in the world that I’m needed … I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world,” Rodman told TMZ.

The proposition seems a bit crazy, even for TMZ. Just to confirm, the site caught up with Rodman Wednesday morning at the Miami airport where he was boarding a plane bound for Rome.

“I’m doing all these great, historical things now,” says Rodman, who continued on to pick his favourite pope: John Paul.

“I think he was cool as hell,” Rodman says of John Paul. “He was pretty much a pimp.” (Attention Vatican: “cool as hell” and “pimp” are both meant as good things, at least when they’re coming from Rodman.)

Rodman also says he’s planning a ride in the popemobile. “I think you guys going be shocked at what I do,” Rodman says. “I think you gonna see me in my popemobile doing my ‘thang.”

This latest publicity stunt comes as part of a bizarre return to the public spotlight for Rodman in the past month. Earlier this week, Rodman announced he was planning a summer vacation in North Korea to visit “my friend” Kim Jong Un. Rodman first visited the country in February with members of the Harlem Globetrotters and journalists from Vice magazine to make a film about what they called “basketball diplomacy.”