Reliance on foreign players Frequent change of location… Shaking fan heart 

Until the mid-1990s,메이저사이트 basketball was one of the most popular sports in Korea. In 1994, the basketball-themed youth drama ‘The Last Game’ was a hit enough to exceed 40% of the highest viewership rating, and the popularity of basketball skyrocketed as the cartoon ‘Slam Dunk’, which was considered a masterpiece, was all the rage. It was also at this time that the ‘super team’ Chicago Bulls, consisting of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman in the NBA, received worldwide attention.

Cloud spectators gathered on the day of the business team game to see Heo Jae, who caused a sensation at Chung-Ang University at the time. University teams were more popular. This was especially true at Korea University, where Jeon Hee-chul, Hyun Joo-yeop, and Kim Byeong-cheol held out, and at Yonsei University, where Moon Kyung-eun, Lee Sang-min, and Woo Ji-won were active. College team players were treated as top stars, showing off their skills that would not be outdone even against their older brothers on the unemployment team.

The explosive popularity of business basketball naturally led to the launch of a professional league. The professionalization, which had been discussed since the early 1990s but had been sluggish, was promoted swiftly thanks to the fandom.

◆Pro Basketball ‘win-win’

Professional basketball started with the 1997 season. A total of 8 teams participated in the league: △Busan Kia △Anyang SBS △Wonju Narae △Daegu Dongyang △Gwangju Nasan △Incheon Daewoo Securities △Daejeon Hyundai △Suwon Samsung. On February 1 of the same year, the first season of professional basketball, which began with the first match between SBS, which has a broadcasting station as its parent company, and Daewoo Securities, a star corps, finished its first season with 21 games per team. At this time, only 400,000 spectators visited the basketball court, and two additional teams were established ahead of the new season. In the 1997-1998 season, a total of 10 clubs expanded their schedule to 45 games per team.

Heo Jae, Woo Ji-won, and Moon Kyung-eun (from left)
The popularity of professional basketball never seemed to fade. In the 2001-2002 season, the sixth year since its inception, the number of spectators exceeded one million. As interest in basketball increased, a virtuous cycle followed with results in international competitions. In 2002, the national team consisting of Seo Jang-hoon, Kim Joo-seong, Moon Kyung-eun, Jeon Hee-chul, Hyun Joo-yeop, and Lee Sang-min defeated China 102-100 in the final of the Busan Asian Games to win the gold medal. In the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the national team defeated Iran 79-77 and took first place. With Kim Joo-sung alive and well, Oh Se-geun, Kim Jong-kyu, Moon Tae-jong, Yang Hee-jong, Yang Dong-geun, and Kim Seon-hyeong successfully achieved a generational change, revealing the future of Korean basketball. An official from the basketball world said, “In the early 2000s, it was so popular that we checked the pro basketball playoff schedule to set up the opening schedule for professional baseball.”

◆Wobbling professional basketball and lost administration

However, after that, the popularity of basketball began to cool down. The problem was the high dependence on foreign players. Here, KBL’s administrative problems overlapped. KBL has prepared a separate award for foreign players. Thanks to this, the league’s best player (MVP) was naturally received by a domestic player. As a result, the evaluation of MVP value began to diverge. In the end, KBL removed the foreign player award in the 2011-2012 season. However, the MVP has always belonged to a domestic player. In the 2014-2015 season, when Ricardo Ratliffe (Lagana) became influential, the foreign player award was suddenly revived. As foreign players accounted for more than half of the team, KBL held the season by limiting the height of foreign players to 2m. In the 2009-2010 season, the naturalized mixed-race player system was operated and the contract period was limited to a maximum of 3 years, but in the 2012-2013 season, this system was abolished, causing confusion.

It is evaluated that the fact that the level of eye level of fans who encounter basketball has also had an impact. With the development of media, it is now possible to watch Kobe Bryant or LeBron James in action in real time. In addition, it is regrettable that the performance in international competitions was so sluggish that it could not even cross the threshold of the Olympics. A coach of a domestic professional basketball team said, “In the case of the NBA, it is to the extent that it should be viewed as a different sport from Korean basketball because the NBA uses its overwhelming physical ability to devise strategies and tactics suitable for it.” There are still limits to securing competitiveness.”

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James. AP Newsis
◆Which team should I root for?

Frequent change of location is also cited as a problem. For example, Daegu Dongyang left Daegu to become Goyang Dongyang Orion, and one day, if a team based in Incheon changed its parent company and founded it in Daegu, as a fan of Daegu Dongyang, it is inevitable to be confused about which team to put your mind on.

According to the 2022 professional sports spectator propensity survey (propensity survey) announced by the Professional Sports Association, the percentage of ‘highly involved fans’ who have the uniform of the club they support is 50.7% and 50.7%, respectively, for Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation and Dongbu DB, which have never relocated. It was 44.0%, but the ratio of highly involved fans of KT, which moved from Busan to Suwon, Korea Gas Corporation, which established a nest in Daegu, and Carrot, newly founded Goyang, was low at around 20%.

The hometown serves as an important factor in attracting loyal fans. However, only 10.1% of the total responded that they watch men’s basketball because there is a club that supports them. On the other hand, in the case of professional soccer with a clear connection, 34.7% of the respondents said that they visit the field because of their loyalty to the club. Professional baseball also surpassed professional basketball at 26.4%.

Unique speed and sense of realism are attractive… Superstar Popularity ‘Healthy’

Although basketball’s popularity has waned, professional basketball is still attractive and has potential. The unique sense of speed, splendor, and realism of the sport of basketball is still there, and the superstars representing the league are still alive and well. It is an interesting point that cannot be missed, even the touching storyline contained in domestic basketball.

According to the ‘2022 Professional Sports Visitor Propensity Survey’ on the 26th, the biggest reason for visiting the basketball court was ‘because I can see the players’, which was the highest at 30.0%. This was followed by 13.1% of respondents saying that there are elements that can be enjoyed on site, and 12.5% ​​of respondents saying that they could feel a realism that is difficult to feel through relay broadcasting.

Byun Jun-hyung, Heo Ung, and Choi Jun-yong (from left)
Basketball’s popularity has cooled compared to its heyday, but interest in basketball stars is still there. Jeonju KCC Heo Ung (30) and Managing Director Heo Hoon (28), sons of ‘Basketball President’ Heo Jae, CEO of Day One Sports, who made their names known through entertainment appearances, as well as managing director Byun Jun-hyung (27) and Goyang Day One Seong-hyun Jeon (32), have skills and good looks. With the appearance of star players equipped with , the hearts of fans are thrilled.

In particular, Heo Woong proved to be a trending star by winning 142,475 votes in the last All-Star fan vote. In the 2002-2009 season, when the popularity of professional basketball was at its peak, Lee Sang-min surpassed the 120,356 votes recorded in the All-Star voting. In addition, G League Santa Cruz Warriors Lee Hyeon-joong (23) and Gonzaga University Yeo Jun-seok (21), who are challenging the NBA for the first time as a non-big man, are also indispensable stars in Korean basketball. It is expected that the popularity of domestic basketball will increase according to their success in entering the United States.

On January 15, the 2022-2023 SKT A-Dot Professional Basketball All-Star Game was held at the KT Sonicboom Arena in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do. news 1
One of the elements that make people look forward to the next season of professional basketball is the ‘story line’. After the 2022-2023 season, the large free agent (FA) market fluctuated. When Choi Jun-yong joins KCC and Song Gyo-chang is discharged from the military, KCC will complete a splendid team that can be called a ‘KBL version of the dream team’.

It is also a point to watch that Kim Seon-hyung and Oh Se-geun are reunited in Seoul SK after 12 years. The two players, who were college and professional draft mates, wore the same uniform for the first time since their professional debut as a famous combination that wrote the legend of Chung-Ang University’s 52 consecutive wins from 2006 to November 2008.

Fans waiting for the new season of basketball are paying attention to the activities of KGC Ginseng Corporation in Anyang, which has lost its main power after winning the integrated championship, Samsung in Seoul, which has not been able to get out of the bottom, and Day1, which is looking for a new sponsor due to the management crisis of the parent company.

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