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.
 
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Chief Executive

£28, 700: Whiskey Whiskey Tango: Property Management Company is seeking a brig...

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?