Wonju DB, a professional basketball team led by head coach Kim Joo-sung, finished the first half of the season with 25 wins and 6 losses (.806) in the 2023-2024 season. Although the gap narrowed to three games due to the frightening momentum of the second-ranked Seoul SK (22-9 losses), which had recently won 12 consecutive games ahead of the All-Star break, the solo system was threatened, but it kept its lead since the opening.
It is noticeable that Kim Joo-sung, a “novice” coach, is at the center of this DB rise. Kim Joo-sung is also a legend in Korean basketball and a star franchise star symbolizing DB.
Coach Kim joined TG Sambo, the predecessor of DB, in 2002 and started his professional career, and as the team name changed to Dongbu and DB, he spent his career only in Wonju until he retired in 2018 and is a “sung bone among the holy goals” that he achieved permanent call. In the KBL, he is also a symbol of “one club man” along with Yang Dong-geun (Ulsan Hyundai Mobis), Choo Seung-kyun (Busan KCC), and Yang Hee-jong (Anyang Jeonggwanjang).
DB’s five regular league titles and three championship championships were all achievements made since Kim Ju-sung joined the team. In terms of individual performance, Kim also recorded two regular league MVPs, a total of 10,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, and 1,037 block shots (first in history). On top of that, he also won two Asian Games gold medals as a member of the national team, and led a more splendid basketball career than anyone else.
Even after retirement, head coach Kim began his leadership career as a coach in his old team DB without a break, and has been continuing his relationship with DB for 22 years as he was finally appointed as an official coach this season after serving as an acting coach. This is also the longest service record in the KBL history, which exceeds 21 years of SPOTV commentator Choo Seung-kyun (1997-2018), who has gone through both player-coach-coach courses since Daejeon Hyundai, the predecessor of KCC.
When head coach Kim Joo-sung was playing active, DB was a strong team that frequently advanced to the playoffs every season. Kim’s DB failed to make it to at least the top six only three times during Kim’s long career, which spanned 16 seasons.
However, since Kim’s retirement, DB has been on the decline for a while. In the last five seasons, DB failed to advance to the semi-finals four times before Kim retired and became an official coach. Although it was tying with SK in the regular season in the 2019-2020 season, it was regrettable that the season ended early without a playoff due to the massive spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rest of the four seasons, it only ranked 8-9-8-7, which was not good enough for DB.
Coach Kim took the helm for the first time as an acting coach after former coach Lee Sang-beom, who resigned due to poor performance in the 2022-2023 season, and recorded 11 wins and 14 losses in 25 games. Although he failed to lead the team to the playoffs, he was well received for rebounding to the 7th place, and eventually succeeded in being appointed as an official coach this season. Kim Joo-sung was the first player to become a coach among former players who made their professional debut since the 2000s.
DB has been evaluated as not performing well compared to its potential due to frequent injuries to its main players and failures to cultivate foreign players over the past few years. In this season, DB was overshadowed by rival teams that succeeded in massive reinforcement of their power, including SK, KCC, and KT, and few considered it a favorite to win. The leadership of new coach Kim Joo-sung, who is entering his first year as an official head coach, also faced question marks.
As if to dispel such doubts, however, coach Kim Joo-sung transformed the team that failed to make the playoffs last season into a favorite for the first time in just half a year. It is considered a “God’s move” to recruit proven foreign player and technician Lawson and establish a new form of triple post different from those of Korean big men Kim Jong-kyu and Kang Sang-jae.라바카지노주소
On top of that, it has succeeded in building the best combination of Lee Sun-bano, who is leading the assist in the Asian quarter, and the strong backup players, including Doo Kyung-min, who returned from injury, Park In-woong, Choi Seung-wook, and Kim Young-hyun. DB not only scored an average of 91.2 points this season, but it is also showing off its hot offensive basketball with an overwhelming first place, with an average difference of 5 points from second-place Suwon KT (85.6).
Coach Kim’s advantage is that he has been active in the DB for a long time since he was a player, understands the internal situation of the team more closely than anyone else, and the support and status of the club are solid. In the first half of the game, he showed charisma that was not like a novice coach by yelling “Get out!” while rebuking the loose play of the main players during the operation time, which made headlines for fans, showing that coach Kim Joo-sung is completely in control of the team’s atmosphere.
The last time the team won the championship was in the 2007-2008 season, 16 years ago. Kim won the championship three times in his 20s alone, but since then, he has added the runner-up four times, leaving regret in the latter half of his career. Analysts say that this season’s DB has found the right time to seek the championship for the first time in a long time.
Kim is also a person who is exceptionally close to winning the title in his first year since debut. When he was a freshman at Chung-Ang University, he became a sensation by winning the College Basketball Federation match and the Basketball Festival in 1998. In the same year, he also won the rookie of the year award and the champion’s match in the 2002-2003 season on the professional stage. At the 2002 Busan Asian Games, his first major competition as an adult basketball team under the national flag, he beat China to win a gold medal.
Now, Kim is dreaming of winning the title from his first year as the new coach. The winners in his first year include former Daegu Asian coach Kim Jin-gu in 2002, TG coach Jeon Chang-jin in 2003 (currently Busan KCC), and Seoul SK coach Jeon Hee-chul in 2022. If Kim Joo-sung can lead the DB as a new coach this year, he will be the first person to achieve both a one-club man and a permanent vacancy.
However, it is not expected that the normalcy of DB in the second half of the year will be easy.