The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 26, 2013

Dennis Rodman worms his way into North Korea

(Continued)

An informal poll of North Koreans revealed that "The Worm" isn't quite as much a household name in Pyongyang.

But Kim Jong Un was a basketball-crazy adolescent when Rodman, now 51, was with the Bulls, and when the Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team, kept up a frenetic travel schedule worldwide.

In a memoir about his decade serving as Kim Jong Il's personal sushi chef, a man who goes by the pen name Kenji Fujimoto recalled that basketball was the young Kim Jong Un's biggest passion, and that the Chicago Bulls were his favorite.

The notoriously unpredictable and irrepressible Rodman said he has no special antics up his sleeve for making his mark on one of the world's most regimented and militarized societies, a place where order and conformity are enforced with Stalinist fervor.

But he said he isn't leaving any of his piercings behind.

__

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington contributed to this report from Washington. Follow AP's bureau chief for Pyongyang and Seoul at www.twitter.com/newsjean.

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