In a new interview with ex-boxing champ Mike Tyson, Rodman recalled his 2013 trip to Pyongyang that got off to a humbling start with the North Korean leader, but quickly turned into a surreal encounter. (Fast forward to 34:00 below.)
Rodman recalled that the dictator introduced himself at an exhibition basketball game, telling the ex-Chicago Bull: “We asked Michael Jordan to come but he wouldn’t come, so we asked you.”
Kim turned up the hospitality and invited the flamboyant American to a party, enticing him with vodka, women “and stuff like this,” Rodman said.
Rodman got more than he bargained for.
“Next thing I know, we go to dinner ... we’re getting drunk as shit ... he gets up and starts singing karaoke and I have no clue what the fuck he’s talking about,” the retired player said.
The evening took a turn for the bizarre when an “18-piece women’s band” emerged. “The whole time they played one fucking song ― one song. It was the fucking theme from ‘Dallas,’” the basketball Hall of Famer said. It was the only number they knew, he said the leader told him.
Rodman explained that he gave Kim a song list that included tunes by Pearl Jam, Van Halen and the Rolling Stones for musicians to learn for his next visit.
Sure enough, on his follow up trip, “they played all those damn songs,” Rodman said. “We’ve been really good friends after that.”
But his visits to North Korea got plenty of attention, including from then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Dennis Rodman was a great basketball player ... And as a diplomat, he is a great basketball player. And that’s where we’ll leave it,” Kerry said at the time.
Kim disappeared from public view earlier this year, prompting rumors he was dead, incapacitated or sick before he surfaced to tour a fertilizer factory on May 1. Amid the speculation, Rodman told the New York Post he believed his old pal was probably just occupied like most people watching “The Last Dance.”