Best 1, 2…, changing franchise history
Anyang KGC and Seoul SK are two of the most prestigious teams in the league, having played in an epic championship game this season. After a long period of being relegated to supporting roles by the likes of Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, Jeonju KCC, and Wonju DB, they have since steadily built up their image as a powerhouse.
Defending champion KGC has won four championships (2011-12, 2016-17, 2020-21, 2022-23), two regular season titles (2016-17, 2022-23), and one East Asian Super League title (2023). This season, they swept the regular season, the East Asian Super League, and the championship game.
SK is no slouch either. With three championship titles (1999-2000, 2017-18, 2021-22), two regular season titles (2012-13, 2021-22), and one cup title (2021), SK completed the first treble in league history last season by sweeping the regular season, championship, and cup competitions. Until recently, they were the two most dominant teams in the league alongside KGC.
While there are many reasons for their rise to prominence, the 2011 draft is considered a turning point. This is because it changed the course of both franchises’ history. While there are no ifs and buts in sports, it’s hard to know if KGC and SK would have gotten to where they are today if it weren’t for that draft. It’s safe to say that the luck and choices they made at that time shaped their fate.
The 2011 draft was highly anticipated even before it took place. In addition to the “Big 3” Oh Se-geun (36‧199.8cm), Kim Sun-hyung (35‧187cm), and Ham Jun-hoo (34‧195cm), who led Chung-Ang University in its heyday, there was also a top prospect, Choi Jin-soo (34‧201.8cm) from the University of Maryland, who was looking to enter the NBA from the United States. While Oh was being called the biggest name in the game, there was a lot of expectation that Choi Jin-soo could become a player on par with him, including the potential for growth. Kim Sun-hyung and Ham Jun-hoo were also immediately recognized for their power.
As a national team big man since his college days, Oh has been a trump card for teams to pass up. Even now, the best condition for winning in the KBL is the combination of a starter-level native big man and a foreign big man. The effect of the “twin towers” is self-explanatory, with their height and the synergies that come with it.
Kim Joo-seong’s DB and Ha Seung-jin’s KCC are examples of this. No matter how many variables there are in the rookie draft, it is clear that a national-level big man is the most reliable guarantee check. KGC took it for granted and drafted Oh Se-geun, and the ‘Ginseng’s heyday’ unfolded. Although he was unfortunate to move teams in this year’s free agency, Oh has been a signature star for over a decade and has left such a thick and deep mark that he is the first name that comes to mind when you think of KGC.
After debating between Choi Jin-su and Kim Sun-hyung, SK ultimately chose Kim Sun-hyung, which proved to be a godsend. While Choi Jin-soo has been a steady performer to this day, Kim has established himself as a superstar who has changed the franchise’s history in the same way that Oh has. He was awarded the regular season MVP last season, and he is well-respected among fans of other teams for his integrity and exemplary behavior on and off the court.
With his good size and athleticism, Choi was once touted as a big-time prospect who could change the future of Korean basketball, and he proved he had the grit to do so in his first season, when he and Oh had frequent showdowns. However, he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since then. He’s been doing his part, but the gap between him and Oh Se-geun and Kim Sun-hyung has grown too wide.
Ham Jun-hoo (renamed Ham Nuri) is not as good as the above three, but he was also well-received as a solid forward with good offense and integrity. Even if he wasn’t an ace, he was expected to play well as a piece of the team. However, even as a starter, he was disappointing and became a bench junior who bounced between teams.
The impact of the No. 1 and No. 2 players was too great, and there were many other players who performed well after the rotation. Kim Hyun-ho, Yoo Sung-ho, Kim Hyun-min, and Chung Chang-young are examples of players who were not stars, but succeeded in the long run through consistent play. In the case of Lee Kwan-hee, who was selected in the second round, he was able to overcome his initial low rating to become a starter.
‘Lion King’ Oh Se-geun leads ginseng nation to unification of the world
The names Seo Jang-hoon and Kim Joo-sung are huge in the history of Korean big men. Seo Jang-hoon has dominated the individual record books, while Kim Joo-sung is one of the league’s leading big men and is highly regarded for his dirty work and teamwork that keeps his teammates alive. They also excelled on the national team, which is why their names are still at the forefront of the list of all-time big men.
Now, Oh has risen to the same level of fame as them. He played a key role in all four of KGC’s championships, winning regular season MVP (once), championship finals MVP (three times), FIBA Asian Cup BETS 5, and Asian Games gold, making his career one to rival any legend. Because he played so many games from a young age, there were concerns about his early retirement or premature aging due to many small and large injuries, but through thorough self-care, he has remained a top big man to this day.
The interest in Oh, who has been showing great skills since he was a child, such as strength, power, and skill, has exploded. Even though Choi Jin-soo had gone overseas and Kim Sun-hyung was being eyed as the next guard, the first pick was unconditionally unified with Oh Se-geun. In the meantime, the first pick went to the 8th-ranked KGC in the previous season, and at that time, coach Lee Sang-beom raised his hands and cheered.
At a time when the team was undergoing a massive rebuilding project, trading Ju Hee-jung for Kim Tae-sul and selecting Park Chan-hee and Lee Jung-hyun in the previous draft, Oh could be the final piece of the puzzle. The moment KGC’s first pick was finalized, it was even said that a new championship contender was born. In fact, there is even an anecdote that Lee went to Heo Jae, who was the “number one pick” at the time, and held hands with him to get his energy up. This shows how thirsty KGC was for Oh Se-geun.
Oh responded in kind. In his first season, he averaged 15 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocked shots in 52 games, winning the Rookie of the Year award and leading his team to the playoffs. In the championship game, he was no match for his matchup, averaging 17.5 points and 5.3 rebounds as the team won their first title in franchise history. He was also named MVP of the championship game. It was a moment that changed KGC’s team history.
Contrary to his Hulk-like image of strength, Oh is an all-around technician. His power is still one of his best weapons, but he also has a high BQ and excellent technique. Oh’s strength has been known since he was an amateur. During the winter break of his senior year, when he was a prospective student at Chung-Ang University, he shocked everyone by scoring 21 points and grabbing 25 rebounds against Sangmu as a member of Chung-Ang University.
He’s an undersized big man who leaves a lot to be desired in terms of height, but he uses his strength, skill, athleticism, and awareness to dominate his matchups. As we’ve already mentioned, Oh was unstoppable due to his overwhelming skill set. Neither the club nor the national team could do without him, and he got a lot of playing time.
He’s not the type of player to shy away from the action, so he was always fighting near the post, and eventually he started to break down. Although he was physically strong, he was only human and could only take so much abuse. His athleticism plummeted and his days on the sidelines increased. What’s amazing is that despite this, he continued to be one of the best big men in the league.
What he lacked in physicality, he made up for in other areas, including his senses, and his shooting improved as the season went on, and he’s now a decent shooter. It’s not for nothing that they say that a healthy Osseus is a championship checkbook. It’s no exaggeration to say that there are still no domestic players who can handle him one-on-one, although he is certainly older than before.
This makes him even more special to KGC fans, but unfortunately, he is no longer with us. He became a free agent, negotiations fell through, and he moved to SK, a team that competed in the finals last season. It was an unexpected ending for both the team and other fans. He thought he would be a KGC man forever, but now he is preparing for his second prime with SK.
Osegun’s career regular season stats ☞ 456 career games played (ongoing): 13.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1 steal, and 0.7 blocked shots.
Career record in the championship ☞ 28 games played (ongoing): 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocked shots.
⁕ Most points in a single regular season game: Points ☞ October 6, 2019 vs. Changwon LG = 36 points / 3-pointers made ☞ February 15, 2023 vs. Changwon LG = 4 assists ☞ November 2, 2017 vs. Busan KT = 10 rebounds ☞ October 15, 2017 vs. Incheon E-Land = 20 blocked shots ☞ December 31, 2017 vs. Ulsan Hyundai Mobis = 4 steals ☞ December 16, 2020 vs. Goyang Orion = 5 steals
Dual guard Kim Sun-hyung approaches legends
Songdo has produced countless great point guards. If we limit ourselves to the players who played in the KBL, Kang Dong-hee, Shin Ki-sung, and Kim Seung-hyun come to mind, all of whom were orthodox No. 1s. In the case of Shin Ki-sung, he was evaluated as an offensive guard at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that he played more to save his teammates’ lives than his own offense.
Kim Sun-hyung, who also hails from Songdo-go, is different from his predecessors, but he leads his team in his own way and is an outstanding field commander who will be remembered in KBL history. Along with Yang Dong-geun, he can be said to be the best dual-guard duo in the history of the league, and while he may be slightly inferior in offensive and defensive balance, he is far superior in terms of play and star power.
Pure guards such as Kang Dong-hee and Kim Seung-hyun use a variety of passing techniques to boost the energy level of their teammates and help their offense. In order to receive their passes, their teammates have to work hard to find openings. On the other hand, Kim Sun-hyung, a dual guard, starts the offense with his own active moves. As a point guard, his height, good wingspan, and athleticism allow him to overpower most opponents he is matched up with.
His burst of speed and leaping ability has been his best weapon since his rookie year. He doesn’t hesitate to run at the slightest hint of an opening and tears apart defenses in a matter of seconds. On top of that, he has a high BQ and good fingertip awareness, so his finishing skills after breaking through are outstanding. He has a variety of options to attack the rim, from finger rolls to double clutches, and as he gets older, he is increasingly using floaters.
Especially in the case of floaters, he boasts such a high level of perfection that it is not an exaggeration to say that he is the best domestic player in history. It is not unreasonable to say that ‘floater = linear’. He has a good balance and an excellent sense of finishing based on concentration, so he succeeds in attacking with a high probability even when the center collapses.
It’s not just about being fast, it’s about being able to adjust your speed to the situation, having stable ballhandling and a variety of finishing steps. Usually, the power of a breakaway player diminishes as he gets older and his physical abilities decline. Kim is different. Despite being a veteran in his mid-30s, he is still considered the best slasher in Korea, and his power hasn’t diminished at all. He seems to be enjoying a “second prime” as he becomes more skillful and seasoned. 메이저사이트
Of course, Kim Sun-hyung’s position is point guard. Even if he is a dual guard, he can’t play as a team with his teammates if he just drums and plays long balls. Kim Sun-hyung is an aggressive offensive player, but he doesn’t play alone. In his rookie year, he was criticized for his lack of reading and passing skills. However, his ability to pass to a teammate in space with the defense on his side and passing in fast break situations was quite good, and as a veteran, his repertoire has increased, including two-man games.
Recently, he has opened his eyes to skillful teammates, and it’s safe to say that he’s a pass master. This is evidenced by the fact that he led the league in assists this season. Even in the playoffs, he was able to help Choi Boo-kyung in the post and Heo Il-young on the outside with his so-called feeding passes.
He has contributed to two team championships, won two regular season MVPs, one playoff MVP, one Cup MVP, and one assist championship, and his career is still going strong. He is a very self-motivated player, so it is possible that by the time he retires, he will be in a position to compete with Yang Dong-geun for the title of the best dual guard of all time.
Kim’s career regular season record ☞ 527 career games played (ongoing): 13.5 points, 3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.3 blocked shots.
Kim Sun-hyung’s championship record ☞ 28 games played (ongoing): 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals.
⁕ Most points in a single regular season game: Points ☞ January 5, 2019 vs. Busan KT = 49 points / 3-pointers made ☞ March 8, 2023 vs. Suwon KT = 5 / assists ☞ February 16, 2023 vs. Seoul Samsung Electronics = 13 / rebounds ☞ November 2, 2019 vs. Ulsan Hyundai Mobis = 10 / steals ☞ October 18, 2012 vs. Seoul Samsung Electronics = 6
Anyang KGC and Seoul SK are two of the most prestigious teams in the league, having played in an epic championship game this season. After a long period of being relegated to supporting roles by the likes of Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, Jeonju KCC, and Wonju DB, they have since steadily built up their image as…