Why did Dennis Rodman visit North Korea in 2013? All you need to know

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Two
Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Two

In 2013, NBA legend Dennis Rodman visited Pyongyang, North Korea. It was a bizarre adventure for the former Chicago Bulls power forward. He didn't know what he was getting himself into at the time.

Initially, Rodman was invited to play in an exhibition match and sign autographs. The trip was planned by Rodman's agent, Darren Prince, who didn't know the difference between North Korea and South Korea. By the time Rodman's trip to Pyongyang had been planned it was already too late.

Dennis Rodman's bizarre trip to North Korea

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un
Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un

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For those who are unaware, North Korea isn't a tourist-friendly destination. Dennis Rodman's visit was incredibly risky. In fact, he wasn't even aware that he was headed to South Korea until he and his team arrived in Beijing. Someone from Rodman's crew explained to him that his final destination was North Korea, not South Korea.

The basketball legend was shocked to find out about it. He told Yahoo Sports:

“No one informed me about North Korea. I just thought we were going for a basketball game and do autograph s--t. That was it. I was so blind, man.”

Rodman's first trip to North Korea has become controversial. When they arrived in the country, Rodman was scared, especially after seeing a bunch of military men waiting at the airport. He didn't know what to make of the situation. He was so scared that he didn't even want to attend the event he was invited to the following day.

However, it was too late to back out at that point, and all Rodman could do was get it over with. He finally made it to the arena the next day and found himself just sitting on a bench, waiting. Moments later, he was being led by a bunch of Kim Jong-un's bodyguards somewhere. He thought he was going to jail at that point.

Then, his mood started to change as they entered the arena. Fans from North Korea were cheering for him, which somehow eased Rodman's mind. That didn't mean he wasn't skeptical about things anymore though. As they continued to walk in the arena, Dennis was formerly introduced to Kim Jong-un. At that point, the NBA legend didn't know how to feel or respond to the situation.

Interestingly, Kim Jong-un was a genuine Chicago Bulls fan. He was particularly fond of the Jordan era. Apparently, the supreme leader of North Korea loved watching the trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.

The two would go on to ramble more about Rodman's Chicago Bulls days. It was a very wholesome moment between a super fan and an NBA icon.

After having a genuine interaction with Kim Jong-un, Dennis finally warmed up to the supreme leader of North Korea, according to Yahoo Sports. They would go on to developed a close friendship. Rodman would visit the country on three more occasions. Who knew that his first adventure to North Korea would turn out the way it did? It's both weird and touching if you think about it.

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