Another former Chicago Bull met with a prominent world leader this week. Jud Buechler, a reserve guard during the team’s second three-peat, met with Willy Telavi, the prime minister of Tuvalu, a small Pacific island nation.
Buechler said he “was in the area,” so he stopped by Telavi’s island residence. “Wasn’t too hard,” Buechler said. “I asked a coconut vendor where his place was, and when I found it I just knocked on the door. Willy answered in a bathrobe and excused himself to dress.”
Last week, eccentric ex-Bull Dennis Rodman met with brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and the two bonded over basketball and foreign policy. The straight-laced Buechler and Telavi, though, had little in common.
“I tried to talk about basketball and Michael Jordan, but Willy doesn’t care much for sports,” Buechler said. “He mentioned the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency and the country’s rivalry with Nauru, but that went over my head.”
“We basically talked about the weather for 45 minutes,” Telavi said. “Except, it’s been sunny and 80 degrees all week, with no clouds.”
Ripples were made when Rodman said that Kim Jong-un was “a friend for life.” Buechler said he has a similar relationship with Telavi.
“We get along great,” Buechler said. “Lucky for both of us we enjoy awkward pauses and long gaps between conversation.”
Towards the end of the meeting, Telavi asked Buechler to tell President Obama to “give me a call.”
“Or not,” Telavi told Buechler. “Not much is really going on here in Tuvalu. I wouldn’t want to waste Obama’s time.”
“Okay, that’s fine,” Buechler replied. “I don’t think I would be able to contact the president anyway.”
The two then went their separate ways. Buechler went to the beach to silently read “Herbert Hoover: American Quaker,” while Telavi napped in a nearby hammock.