This article is from the archive of our partner .

Dennis Rodman and his basketball irregulars finally got to play their game against the North Korean All-Stars today, but not before The Worm took a moment to sing "Happy Birthday" to his best buddy, Kim Jong-un.

Have you ever seen a more nervous crowd at a basketball game? 

That was just only slightly more awkward than JFK and Marilyn's moment. "Kim Jong Un appeared to smile, but he didn't appear to expect it," a tour guide who watched the game told Reuters.  And we're not totally sure, but doesn't it sound a bit like Rodman says "Dear Master" at the point where you're supposed to say the birthday boy's name? Maybe not.

Anyway, Rodman's birthday greeting comes on the heels of his contentious interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, where Rodman lost his cool and began cursing after being asked whether or not serenading a despot who is currently imprisoning an American citizen in a gulag is really a sound call. Not to defend Rodman's friendship with Kim or his behavior on CNN, but only someone who doesn't fear death (or is reasonably comfortable with his exit strategy) would publicly criticize Kim and his country's suspect human rights record on the record with an international news agency while speaking from North Korea. This is a country and a ruler that allegedly punished people who weren't sufficiently sad when their last leader died. (I would not be surprised if people who don't normally sing "Happy Birthday" joined in out of fear.)

"I think this is is a historical day that everyone in the world that we can coexist with each other," Rodman told Sky News. "It went very well for everyone involved," Rodman added.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to