Dennis Rodman sings 'Happy Birthday' for BFF Kim Jong-Un as North Korea beats US NBA All-stars team in 'friendly' match

Rodman delivered the gift of song alongside the leader's other treat: watching North Korea predictably beat a retired team of NBA players during a ‘friendly’

Just in case you were in any doubt that Dennis Rodman “loves” his BFF Kim Jong Un, the retired NBA star went one step further than the Big Bang in Pyongyang: he serenaded the North Korean dictator with a special birthday tune.

Rodman delivered the gift of song alongside Jong-Un’s other big treat – watching the North Korean national side trounse the retired team of NBA players during a ‘friendly’ charity match, with his wife and other senior members of the regime.

Dennis Rodman: 'I Love Kim Jong Un'

“This is for his birthday, this is his gift,” Rodman said ahead of the match. "This is his gift, from me, from me, from the world.

“I love the guy, the guy is my friend, forever and ever and ever.”

The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang, before they watched the squad of former NBA players – including ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker among them – play comically badly against the newly-formed national side. Missing re-bounds and checks all over the court, they proved unworthy opponents and North Korea, predictably, romped home to victory.

His decision to take part in the event has attracted strong criticism due to North Korea’s appalling human rights records.

At present, as many as 200,000 political prisoners who have opposed the regime are locked up in labour camps across the country. Earlier this year, 80 citizens were executed for watching foreign films, while in December, Jong-Un confirmed that he had his own Uncle executed in a political purge.

But Rodman continued to defend his position with bizarre declarations of friendship with the leader, including telling reporters at Beijing airport on Monday that he “loved” him. He also stressed that he and the team were there to provide sporting exchange and to train the North Korean side, adding that they were not politicians.

"We are ready, dude, come on, all you've got to do is one thing, baby," he told the cameras present as he warmed up for the match. "Just give us a ball, man. Guess what, you know, it ain't inventing the wheel. Guess what, we know what we need to do

"Just go out there and have a good time and let the people of North Korea know.

"Matter of fact, I keep saying this over and over, this is for the world, for the world."

His court appearance follows a bizarre outburst during an interview with CNN yesterday.

"One day, one day this door is going to open because of these 10 guys here," Rodman told the broadcaster Chris Cuomo while holding a cigar.

North Korea Execute 80 People For Watching Foreign Films

However, when asked if he would use his influence on his "friend for life" to help Kenneth Bae, an American citizen serving a prison sentence in a North Korean labour camp, the basketball player appeared to lose his temper.

"The one thing about politics...Kenneth Bae did one thing ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? Why he is held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this.

"You know, you've got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, they've left their families, they've left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture. That's 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that?"

"I don't a sh**t, I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them. They dared to do one thing, they came here."

Former NBA player Charles Smith tried to calm him down, insisting that the game is about friendship, not politics. But Rodman continued his rant, becoming increasingly angry at Cuomo.

"Let me do this. Really? Really? I want to tell you one thing. You're the guy behind the mic right now. We're the guys here doing one thing.

"We have to go back to America and take the abuse. Do you have to take the abuse that we're gonna take? Do you sir, are you going to take the abuse?

"One day, one day, this door is going to open because these 10 guys here, all of us, Christie, Vin, Dennis, Charles, ... I mean everybody here, if we could open the door just a little bit for people to come here and do one thing."

Read more on that story here.
 
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing