Dennis Rodman Visited North Korea, Found Out They Still Like The Dallas Theme Song.
Though Dennis Rodman's hardly a stranger to being in an odd-couple relationship of sorts — the hall-of-fame basketball player and Oak Cliff native has been publicly linked with everyone from Madonna and Carmen Electra to Hollywood Hulk Hogan in the past — it's safe to say that the eccentric celebrity's new, “life-long” friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might be Rodman's weirdest relationship to date.
Earlier this week, Rodman and the film crew for a new Vice television series set to air on HBO later this year arrived in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, with three Harlem Globetrotters — “The Ambassadors of Goodwill” — in the name of “basketball diplomacy.” More surprising than even that: Kim Jong-un joined Rodman court side to share laughs and watch as a makeshift Harlem Globetrotters team competed against a group of North Korean ballers. (The game ended in a curious 110-110 tie.)
Apparently, during a speech at that game, Rodman would also tell Kim, “You have a friend for life [in me].”
Later, Rodman would continue his praise of Kim Jong-un: “Guess what?” he was quoted as rhetorically asking an Associated Press reporter. “I love him. The guy's really awesome.”
Following the game, Rodman and company were apparently invited back to the communist leader's palace for a meal and good times. In an odd, local twist, CNN reports that the theme from the popular TV show Dallas was constantly playing in the background during this visit.
The whole idea for the trip was hatched by Vice media co-founder and journalist Shane Smith, who on previous trips to North Korea learned that American basketball is one of the few soft spots Kim Jong-un and his deceased father Kim Jong-il had for American culture. A basketball signed by Michael Jordan, for instance, was prominently displayed in the palace as a national treasure given to Kim Jong-il by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
As of now, the U.S. State Department has taken no official stance on Rodman's visit. Meanwhile, Rodman, who will now go down in history as the first American to meet publicly with Kim Jong-un, is now doing his best to downplay the possible ramifications of his visit. On Tuesday, Rodman took to Twitter — a service that's banned in North Korea — to tweet the following: “I'm not a politician. Kim Jung Un & North Korean people are basketball fans. I love everyone. Period. End of story. #WORMinNorthKorea”
I guess we'll have to wait until April 5 to find out more, as that's when Vice's footage of the trip will air on HBO. In other words: The Globetrotters might not have left North Korea with a victory, but Vice and HBO sure did.