“I’m excited to grow with my new team,” said Moon Sung-gon, who joined Suwon KT as a free agent after leading Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation to the unified championship in the 2022-2023 professional basketball season.
“When I was with my old team, I came here a few times to play practice games, but the feeling is different from then,” Moon said during a visit to KT’s training gym in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, on Aug. 25. “When I came here today, the feeling is new and there seems to be more excitement.”
Moon Sung-gon, the league’s best “defender” who won the Most Valuable Player award for four consecutive seasons, averaged seven points and 5.5 rebounds in the regular season for the Ginseng Corporation in 2022-2023.
Selected by Ginseng Corporation with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 rookie draft, Moon Sung-gon is the team’s franchise star and was expected to remain in free agency, but opted to join KT.
The terms of the contract are for five years with a first-year total compensation of 780 million won.
The terms are better than Oh Se-geun’s first-year total of 750 million won, who left for Seoul SK after sharing a championship with Ginseng Corporation. We’ll have to wait until June, when the salary negotiations for non-FA players end, but for now, he has the potential to become a “salary king.
“KT told me a lot of things, and I felt like it was a team that would grow together,” Moon Sung-gon said, “I was in Busan during the free agency period, and even though I could have come up and signed with them, they actually came to Busan.” He appreciated KT’s sincerity.
He explained that there are many players in KT that he is close to.
“Han Hee-won and Choi Chang-jin were my draft teammates, and there are a lot of close players like Choi Sung-mo, Ha Yoon-ki, Park Joon-young, and Jung Sung-woo,” he said.
“(Heo) Hoon-i is a league MVP-level player, but he can grow even more in the future, and I want the other players to grow into a steady powerhouse as well.”
“When I look at KT from the outside, I feel like they win once or twice and then it’s all over,” Moon said, explaining that he had that feeling during last season’s quarterfinal playoffs.
At the time, KT, which was 토토사이트 directly in the quarterfinals, faced Ginseng Corporation, which had come up through the sixth round, and after KT won the first game, Ginseng Corporation won the second through fourth games.
“In the first game, Ginseng Corporation lost, but they fought well without Omari Spellman, so I thought they deserved it,” said Moon. “They have players like Heo Hoon and Ha Yoon-ki who can play a role on the offensive side, so if I can reduce the burden on them on defense, it will create a better synergy.”
Although the phrase ‘league-leading defensive ability’ is sometimes misunderstood as ‘a player who only plays defense,’ Moon said, “I don’t expect that I will suddenly increase my offensive attempts, but rather that I will center and defend what I am good at, and if my finger injury improves through rehabilitation this year, I will naturally achieve a certain balance.”
The Ginseng Corporation, which has become a ‘family’, has undergone a lot of changes in its roster after the 2022-2023 season.
Oh Se-geun and Moon Sung-gon became free agents and left for other teams, while Yang Hee-jong’s retirement and Byun Joon-hyung’s enlistment weakened the team.
“I felt a little sad,” Moon said, “I received a lot of supportive messages on social media, and I usually get a lot of abuse, but this time, I saw a lot of messages from people saying, ‘Please stay,’ and I was also happy because I thought, ‘I was a player who was loved so much,'” he said, looking back on his free agency negotiations.
He set “restoring honor” as his goal for the new season with KT.
“We were eighth last season, so we need to restore our honor,” Moon said. “Our goal is to become a steady powerhouse team that can go to the championship game for three consecutive years like Ginseng Corporation.”
“First of all, this year is the beginning, and I want to go to at least the quarterfinals while playing basketball this spring, and the championship game will require some luck, but I will try,” he vowed.
As for the pressure of being the ‘salary king’ so far, he said, “The only way I can overcome it is by working hard.”
“The evaluation will be colder, and I have to overcome it and prove it,” Moon said, adding, “No matter how much I make or how good or bad I am, I will continue to be criticized, and I will accept it as love for me, and I will do my best.” Moon heralded a new start for the 2023-2024 season.
With KT yet to win a championship, basketball fans are eager to see what kind of change Moon’s three-time championship experience with Ginseng Corporation will bring.