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

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence