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Ha Makes His NBA Debut

Posted January. 09, 2005 22:50,   


The 19-year-old Ha Seung-jin (223cm) successfully debuted in the NBA as the league’s first Korean player.

Ha, who signed a three-year contract with the Portland Trailblazers, was activated a minute prior to the buzzer in a 2004-2005 regular season home match up against the Heat.

Because of this, Ha tallied his first appearance under his nametag, which is displayed in the official NBA web page.

Ha Seung-Jin was substituted with Nick Van Excel with the team trailing 92-103 but did not record any numbers. The Trailblazers lost 92-103. But through Ha`s agent John Kim, Ha relayed his comments for his first debut as "I wasn`t expecting to showdown but I was happy to get substituted. I`m very excited." and revealed his thoughts.

Ha Seung-Jin, who usually sets Shaquille O`Neal as his role model, shook hands with O`Neal through Nick Van Excel’s introduction. But Ha never had a chance to go `Face to Face` with O`Neal during the match when O`Neal was substituted in the latter half. O`Neal led his team to victory while tallying 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Ha currently set a better standing in the team for himself since his rivalry teammate center Stepania, Vladimir (27•213cm) was discharged from the team. Even in the ongoing survey on who should be the starting center in the homepage of the Trailblazers, Ha received 67 percent to outscore Ratliff, Theo (31 percent) to stand a chance with good reactions. But due to the team`s three-game losing streak, dying for just a win, it would take a while for the rookie to be activated as a full-time starter.

Ha will be seeking his second showdown against the Knicks on January 10.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com