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Dennis Rodman sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kim Jong-un before North Korea basketball game

Jan 8, 2014, 1:59 PM EDT

I hope Dennis Rodman is right. I hope this game between former NBA players and a North Korean team brings cultural understanding, and with it, change to a country that badly needs it.

But to everyone who decried this trip as a twisted birthday present to Kim Jong-un, a charge driven by Rodman’s own comments, Rodman serenading Jong-un in the above video is both creepy and supportive of their stance.

I don’t know. Maybe watching out-of-shape NBA players lose, 47-39 to the North Koreans, will inspire something positive. But I think a global icon like Rodman bowing to the Dear Leader might just symbolize and reinforce a dangerous power structure in North Korea.

  1. JMClarkent - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I am a tad disappointed that he didn’t sing a breathy version of “hap-pie birf-day, mistah pres-ah-dent”.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      I like the TV commercial where Rodman is buying a one-way ticket to North Korea. Let’s make that a reality.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        I thought Rodman did a good job.
        How come there is no worries for the African/Sudanese Immigrants currently
        jailed in Israel with no legal representation, maybe someone can help them.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Maybe Rodman can help them?

      • jpstyles314 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        It’s Israel, nobody will help them.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      just drop bombs on them like every where else and solve the problem.
      forget this sports sheet.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Cuomo should have jumped out of a cake too.

    • monkeyjuice313 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Well… not in public.

    • spthegr8 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Since when did Rodman become a global icon..?? Lmao!! Good one Dan. I needed the laugh!

  2. davemeisner - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    This is weird.

    • basketballhooper1 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      looks like a pretty nice gym though

      • zerole00 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Yeah, I wonder how many people had to starve for it.

    • philtration - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      The really weird part is Kim Jong-un still thinks that this is Wesley Snipes.

  3. timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Vin Baker looks good, knicks should sign him

    • spthegr8 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Hard to like bad playing against a 5 foot Asian guy. Just Sayin!!

  4. azarkhan - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Rodman is just so pathetically stupid. He doesn’t even realize that every Korean in that room is terrified for his/her life that they might do something to offend Kim Jong-un. Even the most trivial “offense” can get them a death sentence.

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      US has a higher prison population. Just sayin

      • skids003 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        That’s because they execute them in NK, we don’t.

      • azarkhan - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        US population = 314,000,000 North Korean population = 25,000,000.

        Just sayin

      • timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        per capita

      • zerole00 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Hard to commit crime when you’re busy trying not to starve.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        That’s because North Korea’s prisoners aren’t in prison, they’re in “voluntary work camps”.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Voluntary work camps they’re never allowed to leave.

      • thraiderskin - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:42 PM

        The United States also has way more people. Just sayin

        The United States also doesn’t execute people of things like possessing bibles and political dissidence

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      maybe black people in America were terrified to walk the streets of America, how about that?

      • tigersfandan - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        How is that relevant to this?

      • jpstyles314 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        I’m not taking a walk in certain counties in St. Louis, too many random searches (once arrested because I stole a car that turned out to be mine, but that seems to be the law). That also has nothing to do with the article.

      • philtration - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        I think you logged onto the wrong site with your comment.

        Just sayin

      • spthegr8 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        Does anybody know what in the Blue Hell fanofanevilempire is talking about??? Cuz I don’t think he does so, it’s up to us to figure it out!!

  5. jammer73 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    He should have sang “Who let the dogs out”.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:42 AM

      Sadly, I laughed at that^

  6. skids003 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    How did they lose? I’d hate to have to ref that game.

  7. whoisrdymlz - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I imagine this story ending like The Last King of Scotland.

  8. nokoolaidcowboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Pathetic. This will inspires no change whatsoever but instead feeds the ego of a maniacal little troll.

  9. antistratfordian - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    But I think a global icon like Rodman bowing to the Dear Leader might just symbolize and reinforce a dangerous power structure in North Korea.

    It’s certainly not going to reinforce a dangerous power structure any more than what American Presidents have done for other authoritarian regimes and dictators. But Rodman is only playing basketball with a little singing and crying on the side, he’s not also giving them billions in “aid” and military technology – so in every sense Rodman’s support for Kim Jong-Un is far less ominous than, say, the United States supporting a dictator like King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.

    • davidly - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      I know we have had our diffs of opinion–but this is pure truth.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        “Pure truth” is about last night’s game scores. Somebody won, somebody lost (though even that “pure truth” starts to erode in the game Kim and Rodman arranged.) One of the appeals of sports is the escape it provides from the frustrations of a real world that is much less tidy. Our support of authoritarian regimes is in the context of decades of isolationism ending in our having to bail out Europe (ironically, supporting the dictator Stalin in the process – criticism of that, anybody?), becoming the superpower that we never wanted to be and have never been comfortable as, and now watching genuine efforts at democracy around the world hijacked by ideologues time after time. In comparison, any real threats to Kim are entirely domestic, and he presides day-to-day over the dark side (literally:

        ). The equivalence ploy really doesn’t work.

      • davidly - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        There’s no ploy. There’s no equivalence. Saying “we” never wanted to be a superpower and talking about “genuine efforts at democracy around the world hijacked by ideologues time after time” — one should take into consideration the hijacking of said democracies by foreign governments, including the US.

        Using the the bailing out of Europe and the inconvenient relationship with Stalin time and again is a ploy that ignores the repeated overthrowing of democratic governments by American intelligence with each president’s blessing, and the propping up of the dictators our oligarchs are more comfortable doing business with. Pinochet and the Shah are but two of many examples that are openly confirmed, the latter from which the world is suffering as a result.

      • davidly - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Oh, yeah: regarding “decades of isolationism” – you might wanna tell that to Teddy Roosevelt and the Philipinnes–which is, again, just one of many examples of US foreign policy in the early 20th century.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:45 PM


        The US has indeed supported authoritarian regimes at times. One such was Syngman Rhee’s regime in South Korea; Rhee had been installed by us in the then-single Korea in 1945. The difference between the paths followed by the two Koreas since the 1953 armistice makes perhaps the clearest case that can be made that in many places and at many times, there is no realistic non-authoritarian option. Apparently popular movements can be that – or they can be influenced by Lenin’s teaching (and, of course, demonstration) of piggy-backing on, and then hijacking, a genuinely popular revolution. There is no easy answer, especially when a decision has to be made in real time with unclear information. Like it or not, the need to ally with Stalin offers a lesson here.

        The Rodman/Kim doings now are sad more than anything. Kim Il Sung idolized Stalin, and operated straight out of his playbook (moderator: note the basketball reference). His successors have been indistinguishable from him and from each other. I doubt Rodman is hurting anything; North Korea is a train wreck and hardly anyone outside their regime is heard to say otherwise. Still, some day, two-way learning about each other’s societies will be possible, and that will be a good thing. But today is not that day.

  10. monkeyjuice313 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    “This guy is friggin; cray cray!” – Kim Jong Un

  11. fnc111 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Would’ve been funny if Kim executed Rodman, on the spot, after losing to his trolls.

  12. metalhead65 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    can’t wait till this nut job says or does something to get himself arrested then begs for help in getting out. this is 2014 why are we still talking about this freak? wasn’t his 15 min. up 20 years ago? just stop giving him free publicity and if he wants to go there let him, something tells me he would not be interested in any kind of diplomacy let alone what he considers basketball diplomacy if there were not 500 cameras following him.

  13. ptsportsdebate - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    It’s sad what’s happening in North Korea, I mean just look at the crowd. The body language of everybody in the building is just plain depressing. They appear to be extremely apprehensive, looking around to see if they can show any emotion. Most of the country is starving, and Kim Jong Un could care less. He’d rather hang out with Dennis Rodman of all people. I don’t know why Rodman continues to go over there. Easily, the most bizarre relationship I can think of.

  14. 1historian - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Rodman is a ‘global icon’.

    A bit of a stretch, wouldn’t you say?

  15. 00maltliquor - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    Mmmmm kaaay…this is getting too weird for me. I’mma have to tap out on this one. Dennis has gone off the deep end, clearly.

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