The Worm appeared on "TMZ Live" and said the first time he met Kim Jong-un was in 2013 on a basketball trip with the Harlem Globetrotters.
During the trip, Rodman says Kim Jong-un's people invited him to meet with the North Korean leader and they hit it off ... and became friends.
But Rodman says he wasn't Kim's first choice -- revealing, "Basically, he asked Michael Jordan first and Michael Jordan said, 'No.' So then he asked about me and I said, 'Yes.' That's how it all started."
Turns out, Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of the legendary Chicago Bulls teams of the '90s!
So, why did Rodman -- who's now working as a consultant for AnyTickets.com -- accept the invite? His explanation is actually pretty interesting.
By the way Rodman tells us his new ticket venture isn't just about going to sporting events and concerts, some of the profits will be donated to charity.