Skip to content

North Korea wanted Jordan, eventually settled for Rodman

Feb 28, 2013, 3:32 PM EDT

Retired U.S. NBA basketball player Rodman is welcomed by Son, Vice Chairman of North Korea's Olympic Committe, as he arrives in Pyongyang Reuters

If you had to choose between Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman… why am I even asking this? We’d all make the same choice.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is the same way — he’s actually an NBA fan, particularly the 1990s Bulls just like his late father (Kim Jong Il). Seriously.

Vice Media sent a group to North Korea to do some basketball diplomacy (and make an HBO documentary slated for April), something welcomed by the usually closed North Korean government. Their first request was for one Michael Jordan nearly a decade ago, reported the San Diego Union Tribune (via the Washington Post).

The following year, Jordan’s management team was approached about the athlete making a goodwill trip to Pyongyang to meet Kim. The North Korean government, according to documents obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, sent a letter authorizing the request, and Samsung, a South Korean electronics company interested in promoting reunification of the Koreas, had offered to underwrite the venture.

Jordan respectfully declined.

So they eventually went with another legendary Bulls player, Rodman.

And he and Kim hit it off, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to a spokesman for the film crew, Rodman told Kim that “You have a friend for life.”

It’s Rodman. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Latest Posts
  1. LeBron scores 36, Cavaliers bounce back to get overtime win over Bulls

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:23 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

    It wasn’t perfect, but the Cavaliers will take the hard-fought victory after the opening night embarrassment.

  2. Cavaliers officially sign Anderson Varejao to contract extension

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Varejao is one of LeBron James’ favorite teammates

  3. Jimmy Butler turns down Bulls’ extension offer, will hit restricted free agency

    Oct 31, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Jimmy Butler Jimmy Butler

    Butler’s agent claims the Bulls wanted him to take a hometown discount.

  4. Steve Ballmer, celebrating Clippers’ win, shocks son (video)

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

    Clippers owner continues to go crazy while watching games

  5. David Blatt admits he flubbed Cavaliers’ rotation against Knicks

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    New coach didn’t give reserves enough playing time in Cleveland’s opener

  6. LeBron James’ powder toss returns to Cleveland (VIDEO)

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Pregame rituals were really the best part of the game for Cavs fans.

Featured video

The list of championship contenders
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. B. Beal (7681)
  2. K. Durant (7029)
  3. K. McDaniels (6943)
  4. K. Leonard (6681)
  5. J. Butler (6295)