Praise Park Kyung-sang.”
Jeon Chang-jin, head coach of the men’s professional basketball club Jeonju KCC, has been smiling a lot lately. After hovering in the lower ranks at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season, it turned around with 6 wins and 3 losses in the 3rd round, and entered the All-Star break with 3 wins and 1 loss in the 4th round. It’s been a long time since I forgot that many consecutive losses, and the team atmosphere has changed dramatically enough to challenge the team’s most 5 consecutive wins in the season.
One of the secrets is Director Jeon’s ‘praise therapy’. It’s not even hinting at it, but it’s a ‘praise lobby’ that fits his hot personality, saying, “I recommend OOO players.” When he was on the rise in the 3rd round, he pointed out Heo Woong and even publicly recommended him as the round MVP (best player), saying, “He is good at mediating the team atmosphere, and he is a pretty friend like a real son.” On the 3rd, the first game of the 4th round, against Carrot in Goyang (79-72 win), Lee Seung-hyun, who saved the team from a losing streak, said, “He plays so hard enough to make the coach feel sorry for playing for too long. A real first-class credit.” gave a thumbs up.
Another person was added to the former director’s ‘praise list’. After the match against Suwon KT on the 10th (79-60 win), it was Sixth Man Park Gyeong-sang (33) who was on the list. He is a rather unexpected figure. Looking at the game record that day, the stats of the aces looked good, including Laguna, who played a big role with 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 assists, as well as Heo Woong (19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) and Lee Seung-hyun (12 points, 5 rebounds).
However, director Jeon picked Park Kyung-sang as if he were discovering a ‘hidden talent’. Park Kyung-sang played 20 minutes and 50 seconds as a sixth man on this day, recording 12 points (3 3-point shots) and -2 assists, his personal best performance this season. Coach Jeon said, “When it is difficult and difficult, in a situation where we have to widen the score, he puts in a 3-point shot. The defense was so good that we were able to win.
It was not only because of the ‘starring performance’ that day that the former coach actively praised Park Kyung-sang. It was because it was admirable that Park Kyung-sang, who was a ‘sick finger’, was resurrected as an ‘alternative’. KCC’s most vulnerable position this season is orthodox No. 1. After Lee Jeong-hyeon (transferred from FA) and Yoo Hyun-jun (enlisted in the military) left, there was no proper leading guard. During the off-season, Kim Ji-wan was raised to No. 1, but due to an injury, it was virtually in vain.
KCC recently changed its original policy of ‘no recruitment of Filipino players’ and recruited guard Calvin Epistola (26) to alleviate the deep concern of No. 1. Park Kyung-sang is the one who started to bring hope to KCC.
Park Kyung-sang, who debuted at KCC in the 2012-2013 season, was a player of misfortune. With an average of 10.1 points and -3.2 assists in his debut season, he predicted the birth of a large rookie, but ’emptying’ began the next season when Kim Tae-sul and Kim Min-gu joined. Park Kyung-sang, who lost his place, failed to regain his prime even after serving in the army. He toured Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, Changwon LG, and Wonju DB before returning to KCC last year. He felt like grabbing the last ‘straw’ because there was no team that accepted him. His annual salary was 35 million won, the lowest in the league, less than that of a rookie (55 million won). At the time of joining, Park Kyung-sang said to the former coach, “I will not dwell on the salary. Baek Eui-jong, if I can think of it as the last and do more exercise, I would be grateful.”
Park Kyung-sang is keeping that promise. Looking at the average of a total of 25 games for the season, it seems so-so with 3.8 points – 1.1 assists – 1.6 rebounds, but so far, he has played an average of 13 minutes and 37 seconds, relieving the physical burden of key players such as Heo Woong. In particular, despite his age, he was a hidden contributor to neutralizing strong opposing team guards with his tenacious defense. “I came to our team to try basketball again and went through a lot of hardship. Considering the salary, it’s ‘special A’ level. It’s great to see you grow and settle in the team,” was not ‘lip service’ from the former coach. 스포츠토토