“The curse of the MVP of a cup competition?”
When it comes to MVP in sports, it is an award that any player would like to receive. However, this is not always the case in men’s professional basketball. The curse of the Cup is becoming a reality under the Korean Basketball League (KBL). Fortunately, the curse of the KBL Cup is considered a foreign player.
As Busan KCC foreign player Alize Johnson recently refused to play in the game, the mood seems to be getting solidified like a jinx. The KBL Cup was launched in 2020 with the aim of inducing interest in basketball by bringing together 10 professional teams and executives before the opening of the regular league. In the first year since its inauguration, Lee Dae-sung (then Goyang Orion) won the MVP award, and Kim Sun-hyung (Seoul SK) won the honor in 2021. Since then, foreign player MVPs have been created for two consecutive years, with Lee Je-i Anoshike (then Suwon KT) in 2022 and Johnson in 2023, drawing keen attention. Their fate has been decided in the main stage (regular league + playoff) since the cup competition. Lee Dae-sung ranked fourth in the regular league in the 2020-2021 season, successfully advanced to PO, and won the “Best 5” award at the award ceremony. Kim Sun-hyung kept his energy as the MVP of the cup competition even stronger. In the 2021-2022 season, when he started receiving the MVP award, he achieved the highest honor of the playoff MVP by achieving the unified gold top by dominating the regular league and the championship game. 꽁머니사이트
However, luck is changing to a “curse” as the baton shifts to a foreign player. Anoshike, who had an average of 27 points and 12 rebounds despite being a “two-option” mercenary in the 2022 Cup, welcomed the 2022-2023 season with expectations that he would have a great deal. However, he had ups and downs that he could not believe was the MVP of the Cup, and was kicked out after two rounds due to repeated slumps. KT, which had fallen to the bottom with 7 wins and 13 losses as of the second round, said it had nothing to expect, adding that it would replace all of its mercenaries with Landry Nnoko, who was the “one option” at the time.
Johnson is following Anosike’s footsteps. When Johnson became the MVP of the 2023 Cup, some in the basketball community thought of Anosike, saying he should open the lid. Concerns have become a reality. Johnson could not play “team basketball” because he was too proud to be a former NBA player. Despite his excellent speed and attack instinct, he was close to a “hole” with defense not being able to match up against mercenaries, and frequent turnovers often ruined the team’s atmosphere. Most of all, he lacked efforts to adapt to Korean basketball, as he was too proud to be a NBA player. Unless he uses “demented” tactics as a shortcut to defeat, Johnson’s chances to play would be limited. Eventually, despite the second playoff battle against Samsung in Seoul on the 4th, Johnson became dissatisfied and refused to play. This served as an excuse for KCC’s defeat, and KCC players are also reportedly very angry with Johnson’s attitude. Eventually, the KCC club was seriously considering whether Johnson will leave the team.
“The case of Anosike and Johnson has something in common,” sources in the basketball community said. The Cup is an exploratory stage in which teams do not display all cards. The team identifies new players at the Cup, studies how to cope with the situation, and applies them in the regular league. Both players entered the abyss after reading “Su,” adding, “If I was blocked, I had to find a way to live on my own and listen to advice from people around me, but I couldn’t avoid the spicy taste of Korean basketball because I played down Korean basketball or just built my self-esteem.”