Korean Basketball League

The Korean Basketball League (Korean: 한국프로농구) or simply KBL is a professional men's basketball league in South Korea which was established in 1997. The league consists of ten teams and each team plays a total of 54 games (27 home and 27 away) in the regular season.

Korean Basketball League (KBL)
Organising bodyKorea Basketball Association
First season1997
CountrySouth Korea
FederationKorea Basketball Association
ConfederationFIBA Asia
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid1
Feeder toFIBA Asia Champions Cup
Domestic cup(s)KBL Cup
Current championsAnyang KGC (4th title)
Most championshipsUlsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus (7 titles)
Most appearancesJoo Hee-jung (1,009 matches)
All-time top scorerSeo Jang-hoon (13,231 pts.)
PresidentKim Hee-ok
TV partnersSPOTV
WebsiteKBL official website

History Edit

The Korean Basketball League was established in 1997. Prior to the professional era, domestic basketball was an amateur sport and all teams, whether sponsored by a corporate company or a university, participated in the National Basketball Festival (Korean: 농구대잔치), a competition sanctioned by the Korea Basketball Association. Early teams were sponsored by major corporate companies or universities. The Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) established their basketball teams as early as the 1950s and 1960s while Yonsei University and Korea University are considered pioneers of domestic college basketball, having introduced the sport to their institutions before World War II. During the 1970s and 1980s, major industrial companies such as Kia Motors, Hyundai Electronics and Samsung Electronics started their own basketball teams. The predecessor teams of Goyang Orion Orions, Anyang KGC and Wonju DB Promy were founded during the 1990s by smaller-scale companies hoping to take advantage of the "basketball craze".[1]

Professional era Edit

The 1996–97 National Basketball Festival ended in January 1997, and the inaugural KBL season began one month later in February. The National Basketball Festival remains an amateur-only tournament to this day and is contested by university reserve teams, amateur teams and the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps's basketball team.

Sponsoring companies were given the option to register their basketball teams in the upcoming professional league. KDB and IBK opted to sell their teams; however, their new owners chose to re-start the teams as brand new franchises, only acquiring their players and staff but not inheriting the team's legacy or historical records.[2][3] The founding teams were Busan Kia Enterprise, Gyeongnam LG Sakers, Daegu Tongyang Orions, Suwon Samsung Thunders, Wonju Naray Blue Bird, Anyang SBS Stars, Incheon Daewoo Zeus, Daejeon Hyundai Dynat, and Gwangju Nasan Flamans. Some of the teams, such as Anyang SBS Stars, had been based in Seoul but chose to move to another city. The plan was to have a team based in each geographical region rather than only centralized in the Seoul Capital Area.[4] The 1997–98 season was the first full season played and the tenth team, Cheongju SK Knights, was added as a member. The KBL has had ten teams ever since.[5]

The early years of the league were plagued by the financial instability, exacerbated by the 1997 Asian financial crisis which had impacted South Korea especially hard. As with other domestic sports leagues, the KBL was not immune to the economic fall-out. The KBL had difficulty finding a league sponsor for the 1997–98 season while teams were forced to cut costs.[6][7] Between 1997 and 2001, five of the ten teams had changed ownership due to financial problems.

Format Edit

The KBL follows FIBA rules regarding standards of play and court dimensions.[8]

For the regular season, the round-robin format is utilized as each team plays against every other team six times (three home and three away). A total of 54 games are played in six rounds. Only the top six teams in the regular season standings advance to the post-season playoffs.

League structure Edit

KBL Cup Edit

The KBL Cup was first introduced in 2020 as a pre-season competition for all teams to test out their strengths before the commencement of the regular season.

It is generally held in September. Aside from the participation of all 10 teams of the KBL league, Sangmu Basketball Team also participates in the KBL Cup, making it a total of 11 teams.[9]

Regular season Edit

The regular season runs from October to early April. Each team plays against the other nine teams six times (3 home and 3 away). A total of 54 games are played in six rounds.

The annual KBL Award Ceremony takes place right after the end of the regular season.

Teams which failed to qualify for the post-season playoffs take a short break before commencing their off-season training to prepare them for the upcoming season.

Post-season playoffs Edit

The playoffs usually begin a week after the end of the regular season.[10]

Only the top six teams in the regular season standings advance to the post-season playoffs.[11]

The qualification of the six teams for either the quarter-finals or semi-finals of the playoffs are determined by their regular season standings. The teams ranked from third to sixth qualify for the quarter-finals, and the teams ranked first and second earn an automatic advancement to the semi-finals.

The quarter-finals are played in a best-of-three format. The two winning teams of the quarter-finals then advance to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals are played in a best-of-five format. The two winning teams of the semi-finals then compete for the KBL championship title in the finals.

The finals are played in a best-of-seven format.[12]

KBL All-Star Game Edit

The KBL All-Star Game is held in mid-January every year. The event is usually held in Seoul, except for multiple occasions where it was held outside of Seoul (2007 in Ulsan, 2017 in Busan, and 2021 in Daegu).

Based on the 2021–22 All-Star Game format, five players from each of the ten teams are nominated for the All-Star fan vote. Only the top 24 players in the fan vote standings are selected to participate in the All-Star Game. The two players with the most number of votes form their respective teams by recruiting eleven players each, regardless of their original teams.[13]

Current clubs Edit

Locations of the Korean Basketball League teams
Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined
Anyang JungKwanJang Red Boosters Anyang Anyang Gymnasium 6,690 1992 1997
Changwon LG Sakers Changwon Changwon Gymnasium 6,000 1994 1997
Daegu KOGAS Pegasus Daegu Daegu Gymnasium 3,867 1994 1997
Goyang Day One Jumpers Goyang Goyang Gymnasium 6,216 1996 1997
Jeonju KCC Egis Jeonju Jeonju Gymnasium 4,730 1977 1997
Seoul Samsung Thunders Seoul Jamsil Arena 11,069 1978 1997
Seoul SK Knights Seoul Jamsil Students' Gymnasium 5,400 1997
Suwon KT Sonicboom Suwon Suwon KT Sonicboom Arena 3,880 1997
Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus Ulsan Dongchun Gymnasium 5,831 1986 1997
Wonju DB Promy Wonju Wonju Gymnasium 4,600 1996 1997

Results Edit

Finals Edit

Year Champions Result Runners-up Playoffs MVP
1997 Busan Kia Enterprise 4–1 Wonju Naray Blue Bird Kang Dong-hee (Kia)
1997–98 Daejeon Hyundai Dynat 4–3 Busan Kia Enterprise Hur Jae (Kia)
1998–99 Daejeon Hyundai Dynat 4–1 Busan Kia Enterprise Cho Sung-won (Hyundai)
1999–2000 Cheongju SK Knights 4–2 Daejeon Hyundai Gullivers Seo Jang-hoon (SK)
2000–01 Suwon Samsung Thunders 4–1 Changwon LG Sakers Joo Hee-jung (Samsung)
2001–02 Daegu Tongyang Orions 4–3 Seoul SK Knights Marcus Hicks (Tongyang)
2002–03 Wonju TG Xers 4–2 Daegu Tongyang Orions David Jackson (TG)
2003–04 Jeonju KCC Egis 4–3 Wonju TG Sambo Xers Lee Sang-min (KCC)
2004–05 Wonju TG Sambo Xers 4–2 Jeonju KCC Egis Kim Joo-sung (TG Sambo)
2005–06 Seoul Samsung Thunders 4–0 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus Kang Hyuk (Samsung)
2006–07 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 4–3 Busan KTF Magic Wings Yang Dong-geun (Mobis)
2007–08 Wonju Dongbu Promy 4–1 Seoul Samsung Thunders Kim Joo-sung (Dongbu)
2008–09 Jeonju KCC Egis 4–3 Seoul Samsung Thunders Choo Seung-gyun (KCC)
2009–10 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 4–2 Jeonju KCC Egis Ham Ji-hoon (Mobis)
2010–11 Jeonju KCC Egis 4–2 Wonju Dongbu Promy Ha Seung-jin (KCC)
2011–12 Anyang KGC 4–2 Wonju Dongbu Promy Oh Se-keun (KGC)
2012–13 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 4–0 Seoul SK Knights Yang Dong-geun (Mobis)
2013–14 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 4–2 Changwon LG Sakers Moon Tae-young (Mobis)
2014–15 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 4–0 Wonju Dongbu Promy Yang Dong-geun (Mobis)
2015–16 Goyang Orion Orions 4–2 Jeonju KCC Egis Lee Seung-hyun (Orion)
2016–17 Anyang KGC 4–2 Seoul Samsung Thunders Oh Se-keun (KGC)
2017–18 Seoul SK Knights 4–2 Wonju DB Promy Terrico White (SK)
2018–19 Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus 4–1 Incheon Electroland Elephants Lee Dae-sung (Mobis)
2019–20 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 Anyang KGC 4–0 Jeonju KCC Egis Jared Sullinger (KGC)
2021–22 Seoul SK Knights 4–1 Anyang KGC Kim Sun-hyung (SK)
2022–23 Anyang KGC 4–3 Seoul SK Knights Oh Se-keun (KGC)

Titles by club Edit

Club Titles Runners-up Winning seasons Runner-up seasons
Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus 7 3 1997, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2018–19 1997–98, 1998–99, 2005–06
Jeonju KCC Egis 5 5 1997–98, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2010–11 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2015–16, 2020–21
Anyang JungKwanJang Red Boosters 4 1 2011–12, 2016–17, 2020–21, 2022–23 2021–22
Wonju DB Promy 3 6 2002–03, 2004–05, 2007–08 1997, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2017–18
Seoul SK Knights 3 3 1999–2000, 2017–18, 2021–22 2001–02, 2012–13, 2022–23
Seoul Samsung Thunders 2 3 2000–01, 2005–06 2007–08, 2008–09, 2016–17
Goyang Day One Jumpers 2 1 2001–02, 2015–16 2002–03
Changwon LG Sakers 0 2 2000–01, 2013–14
Suwon KT Sonicboom 0 1 2006–07
Daegu KOGAS Pegasus 0 1 2018–19

Prize money Edit

  • Champions (finals winners)
    • KRW 100,000,000 + trophy (1997–present)
  • Runners-up (finals losers)
    • KRW 50,000,000 (1997–present)
  • Regular season first place
    • KRW 50,000,000 + trophy (1997–2005)
    • KRW 100,000,000 + trophy (2005–present)
  • Regular season second place
    • KRW 30,000,000 (1997–2005)
    • KRW 50,000,000 (2005–present)
  • Regular season third place
    • KRW 20,000,000 (1997–2005)
    • KRW 30,000,000 (2005–present)

Individual achievements Edit

Awards Edit

The KBL awards ceremony is held annually at the end of the regular season. As of the 2020–21 season, the following honours are awarded:[14]

The awards ceremony takes place at the conclusion of the regular season, before the playoffs begin. The Playoffs MVP is only awarded at the conclusion of the final Championship game.

Top scorer Edit

Year Player Team Points per game
1997   Carl Ray Harris Wonju Naray Blue Bird 32.3[15]
1997–98   Larry Davis Anyang SBS Stars 30.6[16]
1998–99   Bernard Blunt Changwon LG Sakers 29.9[17]
1999–2000   Eric Eberz Gwangju Goldbank Clickers 27.7[18]
2000–01   Dennis Edwards Anyang SBS Stars 33.4[19]
2001–02   Eric Eberz (2) Yeosu Korea Tender Prumi 28.3[18]
2002–03     Leon Trimmingham Seoul SK Knights 27.4[20]
2003–04     Charles Minlend Jeonju KCC Egis 27.1[21]
2004–05   Nate Johnson Daegu Orions 28.7[22]
2005–06   Dontae' Jones Anyang KT&G Kites 29.2[23]
2006–07   Pete Mickeal Daegu Orions 35.1[24]
2007–08   Terrence Shannon Incheon ET Land Black Slamer 27.2[25]
2008–09   Terrence Leather Seoul Samsung Thunders 27.5[26]
2009–10   Greg Stevenson Changwon LG Sakers 21.9[27]
2010–11   Aaron Haynes Seoul Samsung Thunders 23.1[28]
2011–12   Aaron Haynes (2) Changwon LG Sakers 27.6[28]
2012–13   Jasper Johnson Busan KT Sonicboom 19.7[29]
2013–14   Tyler Wilkerson Jeonju KCC Egis 21.5[30]
2014–15   Davon Jefferson Changwon LG Sakers 21.3[31]
2015–16   Andre Emmett Jeonju KCC Egis 26.2[32]
2016–17   Andre Emmett (2) Jeonju KCC Egis 28.8[33]
2017–18   David Simon Anyang KGC 26.1[34]
2018–19   James Mays Changwon LG Sakers 26.6[35]

Draft Edit

Domestic players Edit

Domestic players, defined as possessing South Korean citizenship according to FIBA laws, are recruited through an annual rookie draft. The draft was held since 1998. In 2009, an ethnic draft was introduced to allow the recruitment of players who have acquired South Korean nationality, or either of their parents is a Korean.[36] Players recruited through ethnic drafts are waived from being counted as an import player. However, due to the controversial nature of the recruitment rules and the backlash, the ethnic draft was eventually abolished in 2013.[37]

Import players Edit

From 2018, all teams are allowed to freely select their import players, subject to a "two-import" quota per team and a salary cap of $700,000. Only one foreign player is allowed to play on court in every quarter.

Asian player quota Edit

In a move to further develop the quality of basketball in the country, the "Asian Player Quota" programme was introduced ahead of the 2020–21 season for Japanese players.[38] This programme allows each team to recruit one Japanese player (excluding naturalized, dual citizenship and mixed race players) from Japan's B.League.[39] Players recruited under the "Asian Player Quota" programme are excluded from the foreign player quota, and included in the domestic player salary cap. Wonju DB Promy became the first team in the league to recruit a Japanese player, as they inked a one-year deal with Taichi Nakamura.[40] Ahead of the 2022–23 season, the programme was extended to Filipino players (owns a Philippine passport and both parents must have either Philippine citizenship or passport).[41] In June 2022, Daegu KOGAS Pegasus becomes the first team to recruit a Filipino player, as they announced a two-year deal with SJ Belangel.[42]

Mandatory military service Edit

Players of the Korean Basketball League are eligible to apply to fulfil their military service obligations as members of the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps. Alongside military duties, they are allowed to train as professional athletes and play for the Sangmu Basketball Team. Successful applicants officially enlists in May or June and are discharged eighteen months later in January, returning to the team rosters for the final rounds of the regular season.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "나래이동통신, '남자 농구팀' 창단". Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). September 3, 1996.
  2. ^ "[탐방! 프로농구 TG삼보] '나래 블루버드'로 출발…". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). March 3, 2005.
  3. ^ "기업은행 농구팀 해체-창단 34년만애 매각 추진". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). November 26, 1996.
  4. ^ "프로농구 연고지 확정-서울은 공동.부산은 기아자동차". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). November 27, 1996.
  5. ^ "청주에서 시작한 SK 나이츠, 서울로 정착하다". BasketKorea (in Korean). March 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "IMF 한파 농구코트도 '꽁꽁'". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). December 12, 1997.
  7. ^ "IMF 한파에 체육기반 흔들". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). December 17, 1997.
  8. ^ "Rule Differences". FIBA. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  9. ^ "Sangmu - Basketball, South Korea: Results, Fixtures - Soccerstand.com". www.soccerstand.com. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  10. ^ "[프로농구]프로농구 45경기 늘어난다…팀당 54경기 6라운드". The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). October 17, 2001.
  11. ^ "Knights beat Anyang in first best-of-seven playoff match". koreajoongangdaily.joins.com. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Korea Herald". koreaherald.com. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  13. ^ "KBL All Star match rosters have been finalized". donga.com. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  14. ^ "2020–2021 현대모비스 프로농구 시상식 개최 안내" (in Korean). Korean Basketball League. March 29, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Calray Harris". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "Laray Davis". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "Bernard Blunt". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Eric Eberz". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dennis Edwards". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Leon Trimmingham". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Charles Minlend". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "Nathanel Johnson". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "Dantae Jones". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "Fenton Mickeal". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  25. ^ "Terrence Shannon". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "Terrence Leather". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "Gregory Stevenson". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Aaron Haynes". worldhoopstats.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  29. ^ "KBL 2012-2013". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  30. ^ "KBL 2013-2014". asia-basket.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  31. ^ "KBL 2014-2015". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  32. ^ "KBL 2015-2016". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  33. ^ "KBL 2016-2017". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  34. ^ "KBL 2017-2018". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  35. ^ "KBL 2018-2019". asia-basket.com. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  36. ^ "KBL Finalizes Rules for Ethnic Korean Draft". The Korea Times. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  37. ^ "막 내리는 '귀화혼혈선수' 시대의 명과 암". 오마이스타 (in Korean). 2020-05-26. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  38. ^ "KBL, 일본선수 대상으로 아시아쿼터 시행…DB는 영입 추진 중". sports.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  39. ^ "Korea, Japan cooperate with implementation of Asian Player Quotas in professional leagues". FIBA.basketball. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  40. ^ 김용호. "[구단소식] 원주 DB, 아시아쿼터제로 나카무라 타이치 공식 영입". sports.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  41. ^ Li, Matthew (18 April 2022). "KBL expands Asian Quota to Filipinos". Tiebreaker Times -US. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  42. ^ "[단독] 한국가스공사, KBL 1호 필리핀 선수 영입". ROOKIE (in Korean). 6 June 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2022.

External links Edit