Yesterday Dennis Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” to North Korea’s brutal dictator before leading a team of former NBA stars in a match against local players.
Rodman dedicated the game to his “best friend” Kim who, along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives, watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the birthday song. Along with Rodman, the former NBA players included ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker. Also on the roster were Craig Hodges, Doug Christie, Charles D. Smith and four streetballers. Rodman said he was honored to be able to play the game in the North Korean capital, and called the event “historic.” To keep it friendly, the Americans played against the North Koreans in the first half, but split up and merged teams for the second half. The game is a new milestone in Rodman’s unusual relationship with Kim, who rarely meets with foreigners and remains a mystery to much of the outside world.
Rodman earned international headlines yesterday after a bizarre and bellowing interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.