By now, you probably know that North Korea's Kim Jong Un is a "die-hard basketball fan" who told former Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman he had a "friend for life" in the Hermit Kingdom. (VICE magazine has just released photos, including the one above, of Rodman and Kim taking in a basketball game between members of the Harlem Globetrotters and North Korea's "Dream Team" in Pyongyang.)
But being a "die-hard fan" can mean something different when you're the supreme leader of a country, and both Kim and his father Kim Jong Il -- also a legendary NBA enthusiast -- have taken their basketball fandom to impressive heights in the decades they've controlled North Korea. For an excellent primer on the special relationship between the Kim family and the NBA, see this 2006 San Diego Union-Tribune article. Some choice bits from the piece:
In 2009, the Washington Post reported that Kim Jong Un inherited his father's love of the game: Classmates remember a student believed to be Kim (he went to school in Switzerland under a pseudonym)who was "fiercely competitive" on the court, and both "tough and fast."
Here's the lingering question: Was the exhibition game that Rodman and Kim attended today played by North Korean or NBA rules?
(h/t: NK News)
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