Go to contents

Seo Jang-hoon’s Heartache

Posted November. 15, 2004 23:10,   


Samsung’s Seo Jang-hoon (30, 207cm, 115kg) wears a waist protector to the games these days. He also receives massages from time to time during the game. This is due to a chronic muscle pain in the waist, which is a common affliction on centers who are tall, heavy, and prone to struggles.

However, he did not wear his waist protector at the November 14 game against KCC. Like the pledge he made before the match saying that he would play with his teeth clenched, he scored 23 points, the highest on the team, and led them to a 85-82 victory. This was the moment the team ended its five-game losing streak. Immediately after the game, he revealed the distress he felt during the losing streak, saying, “It is hard to fight against an invisible enemy.”

As of November 15, Seo Jang-hoon is scoring 22.88 points (ranked sixth) and grabbing 9.63 rebounds (ranked 11th) per game. Last season’s average points per game was 22.09 (ranked fifth) and rebounds was 8.6 (ranked fifth). The fact that this year’s foreign players are generally better than last years’ acts as a burden on Seo Jang-hoon. While Samsung was on a losing streak, the Korean Basketball League’s bulletin was filled with attacks on Seo Jang-hoon. The main argument was that he is not helping the team because of his slowness and unwillingness to fight. In particular, the fact that he avoided playing under the basket and often threw the ball from the outside was the most debated issue. There were strong reproaches such as “Seo Jang-hoon is Samsung’s Achilles’ Heel (samora99)” or “He left his position as the best center and turned into a three-pointer shooter. (maxlove)”

On his frequent three-point shot attempts, Seo Jang-hoon said, “It is natural for a player to shoot when there is the chance.” When there was a controversy on this, even Samsung’s head coach Ahn Joon-ho explained, “I deliberately ordered him to shoot from the outside whenever there are many tall players on the opposing team.”

Ahn Joon-ho said, “Seo Jang-hoon was not able to train much before the season because of his muscle pain. Therefore, in the beginning of the season he had a hard time because of a lack of coordination with his teammates,” and added, “However he is getting better in each game.”

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com