Busan KCC, which boasts a “luxury lineup,” is the strongest favorite to win the 2023-2024 season among professional basketball coaches.
During the opening media day of the 2023-2024 Korean Professional Basketball League at the Olympic Parktel in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on Saturday, seven of the 10 team managers (including multiple responses) called out KCC’s name when asked who they thought would win the title.
Kim Joo-sung of Wonju DB, Eun Hee-seok of Seoul Samsung, Jeon Hee-chul of Seoul SK, Cho Sang-hyun of Changwon LG, and Song Young-jin of Suwon KT called out KCC.
With the addition of Choi Jun-yong to the existing roster of Heo Woong, Lee Seung-hyun, and Ragan-ah, KCC won the KBL Cup, which ended on Friday. New foreign player Alize DeShawn Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading the team to victory in the finals.
Coach Kim Joo-sung said, “KCC has formed a ‘super team,’” while Eun Hee-seok said, “The team is composed of excellent players for each position, which is suitable for the small ball that we are pursuing these days.”
Cho Sang-hyun said, “The composition and transitions are good,” and Song Young-jin explained, “The players’ stats and experience are excellent.” Jeon Hee-cheol summed up KCC with one word: “Just count.”
Along with KCC, defending champion Anyang Jeonggwanjang coach Kim Sang-sik and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis coach Cho Dong-hyun also named SK. SK, which has reached the championship final in the last two seasons, sent Choi Jun-yong to KCC for Oh Se-geun.
Kim Sang-sik said, “If you look at player composition and reinforcements, both teams are strong contenders,” and Cho Dong-hyun also predicted that the two teams will fight for the title if there are no major changes.
Goyang Sono coach Kim Seung-ki and Daegu KOGAS coach Kang Hyuk pointed out SK’s comparative advantage.
Kang pointed to the fact that SK has a lot of players with championship experience, as well as the return of star forward Ahn Young-jun, as factors in their favor.
KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin, who was called out the most, humbled himself by saying, “The Cup is not a competition where you have to go all out,” and added, “I think KT is the strongest team with Heo Hoon being discharged from the military and the national team lineup.”
KCC’s Heo-woong said, “Of course it’s a pressure,” but added, “I try to enjoy the pressure during the season. It’s not often that I can play with such a good team during my career, so I want to seize the opportunity.”
KCC and SK, the two favorites on the day, are tied together by Choi Jun-yong. Choi Jun-yong, who played for SK until last season, switched to KCC this season and became the centerpiece of the ‘super team’. 먹튀검증
SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul said, “Trading professional players is a business. We don’t view KCC differently just because a player from our team has moved on,” he said, adding, “It’s true that it’s difficult because the composition of KCC is so good, but we want to show the fans that we are doing well.”
Coach Jeon Chang-jin also said, “A professional can’t have different feelings about something like that.”
“There’s a lot of talk about Choi Jun-yong and a lot of questions about whether he listens well, but I personally don’t understand it. He’s a great player who adapts well to the team, listens to the coach, and raises the tension of the team,” he said, adding, “He has a strong competitive spirit and sometimes overacts, but he’s the best player and I’m 100% satisfied with him.”