One’s the unhinged dictator of a dystopian nation where he reportedly forces citizens to watch their loved ones get executed in public. The other’s a five-time NBA champion and possibly the secret love child of a tattoo gun and a rainbow. Together they’re really confusing. And they’ve been together quite a bit. As ABC details, the unexpected connection between Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un goes back to 2013, when Rodman accepted an invitation to North Korea. Rodman and Kim have been photographed hugging each other. Rodman has passionately defended the dictator to the U.S. media. During a 2014 visit to the Hermit Kingdom, Rodman breathlessly sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim before … possibly bursting into tears? It’s not clear.
If Rodman were to dress as Kim and then marry himself, it would make zero percent less sense than any of the rest of what has already transpired. Does Rodman want to relive his Bad Boy days by teaming up with the worst boy imaginable? Does Kim want to know how it feels to own a one-person NBA team? Can somebody please explain how these two became BFFs? Oh, wait, that’s what this article is for.
Kim originally wanted to meet Michael Jordan
On a 2019 episode of Cold as Balls, a show premised on freezing your non-basket balls in a tub of ice water, Kevin Hart asked Dennis Rodman to explain how he became friends with Kim Jong Un. According to the former NBAer, “He loves the Chicago Bulls. He contacted Michael first. And Michael Jordan just like, ‘No, I’m not doing that.'” So North Korean authorities contacted Rodman and invited him instead. Much like the “Worm” in his heyday, Kim was rebounding.
Rodman assumed the North Koreans wanted him to do an autograph signing, but he got invited to join an exhibition with a few Harlem Globetrotters because the world is a meaningless circus. He recalled not even knowing who Kim was when he first laid eyes on the dictator. In fact, he seemed to lack any awareness of how oppressed the people are there. Rodman saw a group of teary-eyed fans cheering their hearts out and assumed it was for him. It was for Kim because he’s a dictator. And perhaps that sums up their relationship: a naive athlete getting charmed by manufactured happiness in one of the saddest places on Earth.
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