Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman's friendship with Kim Jong Un is well documented. The notorious former NBA star visited North Korea for the first time in 2013 and since then has maintained a good relationship with the 'Supreme Leader'. During Mike Tyson’s Hot Boxin’ podcast, Dennis Rodman recalled his first wild meeting with Kim Jong Un and how the duo spent the night drinking and playing karaoke.
However, as it seems, Dennis Rodman was never Kim Jong Un's first choice among basketball stars to visit North Korea. In fact, as per Rodman himself, it was his Bulls teammate and icon Michael Jordan who was.
Before delving into his first meeting with Kim Jong Un, Dennis Rodman revealed the 'Supreme Leader' was desperate for Michael Jordan to visit his country. However, Rodman revealed Michael Jordan never entertained the idea and hence Kim Jong Un asked him to visit North Korea instead. Rodman said during the podcast that Kim told him, 'We asked Michael Jordan to come but he wouldn't come so we asked you.'
Kim Jong Un is known to be an avid follower of basketball and NBA franchise Chicago Bulls. Kim's father Kim Jong-il was also a massive follower of basketball and a huge fan of Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the 1990s. Back in 2000, Kim Jong Un's father reportedly requested a visit from Michael Jordan in bid to foster a diplomatic relationship between the United States and North Korea.
However, Jordan reportedly denied the request. Last year, reports suggested, Kim Jong Un's contingent made a similar request to the US to send 'famous basketball' players to the hidden country. The diplomatic talks between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump broke down and hence the request was never fulfilled.
Despite initially not being the first choice, Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman bonded pretty well during their first meeting in 2013. Rodman told Mike Tyson, he was a player for the Harlem Globetrotters when he first met Kim. Just hours after their first meeting, the duo was partying together, which Rodman described as a usual experience.
Since the first meeting, Rodman and the North Korean leader have reportedly remained good friends and the NBA Hall of Famer made several visits to North Korea since 2013.