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Falling Knights… Kim Young-man Deep into Slump

Posted December. 18, 2002 22:21,   


Kim Young-man (30,SK Knights) is having a tough time mentally and physically. Nowadays, he seldom succeeds in making points, and his team has lost 6 games in a row.

In July, Kim was traded from Mobis to SK Knights. Right thereafter, Kim secured his position in the new team. Especially, with Suh Chang-hoon gone to another team, SK put a lot of expectations on him. Reflecting the expectations, he got a salary of \220 million (or approximately $180,000).

Nonetheless, with his team remaining near the bottom, he`s got under fire. In the last 5 games of the third round, all of which SK lost, Kim disappointingly recorded an average of 10.2 points, a sharp downturn in comparison with this averages in the first (15.1) and second round (17). More surprisingly, he did not score at all in the December 7th and 15th games against Korean Tender and Samsung, respectively. In other words, Kim`s slump is in direct proportion with the fall of SK Knights.

Various voices are heard about Kim`s slump. SK`s coach Choi In-sun said with a sigh, "Our team does not have star shooting guards and centers. Thus, Kim, a small forward, has to do all the things on court alone." KBS commentator Park Soo-gyo, who coached Kim at Mobis, diagnoses, "Kim has sustained injuries frequently. The injuries have slowed him down." Kim, due to his back and knee injuries, took off 14 games last season. Nonetheless, in a new team, he had already exhausted himself early in the season.

Some even point out disharmony among SK players. They say that Kim does not receive passes from SK`s guard Hwang Sung-in, playing games in a "doing-my-way" manner. In fact, Kim in an interview last week, complained, "Our guard did not pass me in a timely manner. I have lost many chances."

Yet others even say that Kim, adhering too much to his personal records, do not lead the team. Kim is one of the senior players in the team. Brushing off all the speculations, one thing we can tell for certain is that, without Kim`s coming back, SK Knights is not likely to come back.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com