Rodman: Kim Jong Un is a ‘friend for life’
by Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Rodman told Kim Jong Un he had a “friend for life” after watching a made-for-television basketball exhibition with the North Korean leader on Thursday.
The eccentric basketball Hall of Famer was in Pyongyang to film an episode of HBO’s upcoming show, VICE. He sat court-side with Kim during the game and spoke to him in both English and through a Korean translator, according to the AP.
Each team featured two Americans playing with North Koreans. Three of the Americans were Harlem Globetrotters. Another was a VICE producer.
The game ended in a 110-110 tie, suggesting the result was as legitimate as Kim Jong-Il’s old golf scores.
Pictures from VICE show Kim and Rodman laughing, while Kim’s countrymen stoically watch the game. Rodman was conspicuously wearing a USA Basketball hat while drinking Coca-Cola. Nice.
A wider shot showing the crowd makes it seems like it was “black military shirt” giveaway night at the arena.
Other than the “friend for life” comment, Rodman’s postgame message is unknown. We’d like to think it sounded something like this.
The VICE crew later went to Kim Jong Un’s palace for dinner and drinks.
“Um … so Kim Jong Un just got the #VICEonHBO crew wasted … no really, that happened,” VICE producer Jason Mojica wrote on his Twitter feed.
“Dinner was an epic feast. Felt like about 10 courses in total,” VICE correspondant Ryan Duffy said in an email to AP. “I’d say the winners were the smoked turkey and sushi, though we had the Pyongyang cold noodles earlier in the trip and that’s been the runaway favorite so far.”
Dinner, drinks, basketball, Coca-Cola — North Korea is just like us, except for unsanctioned nuclear tests, systemic indoctrination, censorship, inability to feed its people and military-controlled government.