November 30, 2022. Park Ji-soo finally appeared at the stadium. Park Ji-soo, who broke the void that could be said to be long if long and short if short, appeared in front of the public for the first time this season. However, he seemed to keep his distance from the eyes of the fans as much as possible. He still looked cautious.
He appeared in the official game 231 days after lifting the MVP trophy with the team victory in the 2021-2022 season championship match. He couldn’t play in the game, didn’t catch the ball once, and chose to keep his distance from the public eye, but everyone’s attention was once again focused on the countdown to a full-fledged return.
After 2020, when the antinomic WKBL FA system, which seemed to be aimed at regulating player movement, was partially revised, April is the hottest period outside of the game in women’s basketball.
Due to some changes in the ‘bright dog apricot’, which was able to fundamentally block the movement of players by presenting the annual salary ceiling even if they obtained the free agent (FA) qualification, players who obtained the FA qualification for the second time or more are not voluntarily transferred. hit the possible world. There was a change in WKBL, where the better you did, the more you didn’t have the right to choose another team.
There is still an upper limit on the player’s individual salary, so there is almost no dramatic difference in salary. This is because the proposal amount for the hot topic players is eventually determined based on the upper limit. Players who are classified as Class A cannot be given ‘an offer that is more radical than other teams’. So, in the women’s basketball FA market, ‘justification’ has become a trend of choice.
As with the draft, the FA also mentions the biggest word of the year as a pronoun every year. Just as 2017 was the ‘Park Ji-soo Draft’ and 2019 was the ‘Park Ji-hyeon Draft’, the names of the most controversial players have now appeared in the free agent market where options have occurred. In 2020, Park Hye-jin (Woori Bank) stayed, and in 2021, Kang I-seul chose to transfer to KB Stars.
2022 was ‘Kim Dan-bi FA’. He made his debut at Shinhan Bank, was the last player to share the history of ‘Real Shinhan Bank’, and was the main character who made Shinhan Bank called ‘Danbi Bank’, so there were many expectations that his future would remain. But during his contract period, labor pains ensued and he made a surprising decision. He left Shinhan Bank, where he had been with him for 15 years, and chose to transfer to Woori Bank.
Until the 2010-2011 season, the brilliant history of Shinhan Bank, which achieved 6 consecutive WKBL titles, came to an end with Woori Bank as head coach Sung-woo Wi and coach Joo-won Jeon, who had been at the cutting edge of the history, moved to Woori Bank.
Shinhan Bank formed a sharp rivalry with Woori Bank, which emerged as a new loser for several years from the season when the integrated championship was frustrated. Kim Dan-bi, who was the main pillar of the team, decided to move into the team that had been the enemy for the longest time. Among the main players of ‘Real Shinhan Bank’, those who remain in women’s basketball now belong to Woori Bank.
Danbi Kim said, “I felt stagnant after being on the same team for too long, so I needed a change.” “I wanted to take on a new challenge before retirement.” He revealed the reason for the choice. And there was another justification within that reason.
‘I want to challenge myself to win!’
In fact, Danbi Kim is one of the best players in the league that every team can’t help but covet. Woori Bank, who was struggling against KB Stars, who had risen to the ‘absolute top 1’, and Kim Dan-bi, who struggled to overcome KB and Woori Bank until retirement, agreed on the goal of winning. And this choice of Kim Dan-bi gave another shock to the league.
Woori Bank is already a strong team with Kim Jong-un, Park Hye-jin, Kim Sonia, Choi Yi-sam, and Park Ji-hyun. Although Sonia Kim was lost as a compensation player with the recruitment of Danbi Kim, all of the best players are Jeon Hyun national team, and most of them have played as key resources in the national team or their role is currently in progress.
Looking at the composition of players by position, Woori Bank, which has been a ‘super team’ for a long time, has become a ‘mega super team’. It was said that it was a ‘choice to prevent KB’s solo run in the first round’, but the majority of teams responded that “the fight between the two teams who always competed for the championship and their position only became more solid.”
KB’s reaction was not special. The transfer market in April 2022 was as quiet as a windless zone for KB, which had been the busiest in the FA market over the past two years and had been named on the biggest plate. It wasn’t just because he achieved his goal by winning the unified championship.
I was confident. Woori Bank’s strengthening of its strength was obviously a big variable, but KB, which was younger than Woori Bank in the age of most of the main players, felt sufficient competitiveness because it was a more future-oriented composition than its opponents. And at the center, there was a clear asymmetric power called Park Ji-soo.
In KBL, there was a legend and praise about the so-called ‘Keon Se-geun’, saying that ‘a healthy Oh Se-geun (KGC Ginseng Corporation) is difficult to block’. In WKBL, it was a reality that ‘there is no way to stop a normal Park Ji-soo’. No, even if it wasn’t normal, it was difficult to stand against Park Ji-soo.
KB’s confidence was slowly changing to confidence as off-season training began. More satisfying and stable training than ever before. Park Ji-soo decided to take a break from the WNBA season. He needed rest, treatment, and surgery.
Park Ji-soo hit an opponent’s head hard during the regular season and had to undergo nose surgery after the season ended. During the playoffs and the championship game, he played with a gluteus maximus tear. He also decided it would be better to take a break from the WNBA for the Women’s Basketball World Cup in September. His experience of not playing in the best condition after joining the WNBA season during the Tokyo Olympics helped him make a cool decision.
Park Ji-soo, who did not go to the United States, took rest and treatment after the season, and joined the team’s off-season training as normal. It was also the best off-season start for Park Ji-soo, who had irregular participation in off-season training due to the selection of the national team, injury treatment, and participation in the WNBA season. She got up quickly. Her players and club were satisfied.
KB was confident that if Park Ji-soo was able to demonstrate her power, she would not be pushed back no matter what other teams made. The one-two punch that Park Ji-su, who cannot normally compete with, and Kang I-seul, the best shooter in the league, was the strongest in WKBL. Kim Min-jung, who is a card that can attack the opponent’s loopholes, and Heo Ye-eun, who has grown more through winning experience… The average age of these four people is 25.3 years old. The key powers of the championship were still young and had the potential to develop. Veterans such as Yeom Yoon-ah and Choi Hee-jin were still alive, and backup resources were sufficient, such as Shim Seong-young, Kim So-dam, and Eom Seo-yi. All of these compositions were able to demonstrate perfect synergy when Park Ji-soo firmly held the center. By the way…
Taebaek in July. It happened just as everything was going according to plan. It was Park Ji-soo’s departure due to panic disorder.
“If you think about it, it wasn’t the first time in Taebaek. I had a similar situation a couple of times while on vacation, but I didn’t know it was serious at the time. It was so bad in Taebaek that I collapsed and was taken to the emergency room. I thought I would take a break of about three days, about a week at the most, and then rejoin the team.”
There were things I didn’t know about panic disorder myself, but there was also a greed that I didn’t want to miss out on the flow of off-season workouts that I was preparing well for.
“Honestly, I thought taking a week off was a long time. I was in really good shape. During that time, there were things I pulled up, but I didn’t want to drop them while resting. It was when I was preparing for my second year. For the first time since then, I felt really good in my body. My confidence was high. That’s why I really hated losing my physical condition while resting.” “I thought ‘I can’t rest’ and thought ‘I’ll get better soon’, but when I went to the hospital, it wasn’t that. I went to the gym, but since that situation happened several times a day, I couldn’t go outside and stayed at home. ‘I need to exercise quickly’, ‘I have to return quickly’, ‘There are things I’ve done so far’, ‘This season I’m really We have to cheer up’, ‘All other teams will be targeting us’ I was really impatient because I thought about this a lot. As a result, it seems that such a mind had a worse effect on recovery.”
When Park Ji-soo broke away from team training and was diagnosed with panic disorder, the national team preparing for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup to be held in Sydney, Australia, was also in an emergency. She quickly concluded that ‘she has to prepare for the tournament without Park Ji-soo’.
In the beginning, there were some people who looked at it with colored glasses. ‘Aren’t you taking a break on purpose to focus on preparing for the season without going to the national team?’ However, national team coach Jeong Seon-min dismissed this, saying, “The person who is most frustrated right now is (Park) Ji-soo,” and “I know well how Jisoo prepared for this World Cup.” Coach Jeong nailed it, saying, “Isn’t it a problem that can be completely solved by one’s will? It is difficult to return before the tournament.”
“In Korea, most people only think of soccer when they talk about the World Cup, but the Basketball World Cup is a really big event that happens once every four years. For basketball players, the World Cup is the biggest international event, just like soccer. Like last year’s Olympics, this World Cup is really for me. It was a tournament with a big goal and meaning. How did we advance to the finals? In the preliminaries, we beat China once and beat Brazil to earn a ticket to the finals with great difficulty. I thought the grouping was not bad, so I was confident that I could make it to the quarterfinals. there was.”
I didn’t want to give up the World Cup. I tried to balance training and competitions while controlling my condition with medication.
However, the hospital’s judgment was different. Enduring like that is a considerable burden on Park Ji-soo and it would not be easy, as well as panic disorder itself could never be improved. It was judged that it would be effective only if it was caught early, so he concluded, “Give up this World Cup,” saying, “You can’t get better if you take medicine and exercise.” It was a diagnosis that he would have to rest unconditionally for at least two months.
“I wondered, ‘That long?’. I also thought, ‘If I get better midway through, maybe I can start exercising or join the national team’. However, the two months that seemed long passed really quickly. It lasted a long time and did not heal quickly.”
Due to Park Ji-soo’s absence, both the national team and KB had to prepare a plan B. Park Ji-soo’s influence is absolute. He probably never had a player in the history of basketball in Korea where one person accounted for so much.
When the news that Park Ji-soo’s participation in the World Cup was not announced came out, the expectation of the national team’s quarterfinals quickly changed to ‘Let’s do our best in the tournament and focus on next year’s Asian Games’. While the presence or absence of a key player certainly has an impact on the team, it is not uncommon for the national team to change its goals and prospects for the competition.
When visiting Taebaek to cover KB’s field training, Park Ji-soo, before being diagnosed, showed clear confidence. Although Woori Bank acknowledged that Danbi Kim’s joining made it more competitive, he was aiming for the season, saying, “It won’t be easy, but I want to challenge the highest win rate in a failed season.” But in an unexpected situation, everything went back to square one. And Park Ji-soo was also given a difficult two months.
“I had two or three setbacks before returning. When the symptoms were severe, I couldn’t go outside, didn’t see people, and stayed inside the house. I was sensitive to noise. I started to take walks as I got used to it one by one, but at first I started taking walks. I even fainted after experiencing symptoms. Then I got better little by little and I was fine for a few days. I thought, ‘I’m better now’, but the next day, the symptoms appeared again so badly that I couldn’t get up. I was really frustrated at that time. Why did this happen to me? I didn’t understand why this was happening, and I thought it was getting better, but it was so hard because the same situation was repeated. It was a problem with my autonomic nervous system, so I think it was more difficult because I couldn’t control myself or check my progress. I thought, ‘Look.
It was a crisis. From the outside, there was a warning (?) and expectations coexisting, saying, “I will solve it myself and return,” and “Isn’t it possible to meet the season opening time sooner?”, but Park Ji-soo was fighting a much more serious fight. Park Ji-soo’s mother, Lee Soo-kyung, recalled the intense two months, saying, “I was also worried that Ji-soo might not be able to stand on the court again.”
“At that time, the doctor took good care of me. He said, ‘This kind of impatience is the biggest problem’ and encouraged me by saying, ‘You can do it again slowly.’ not ‘I will’
As the season approached, Park Ji-soo’s joining the team became a hot topic of interest. There was also a hopeful prospect that even if he could not play, he would be able to join the team at the opening, but it did not become a reality. Rumors abounded. In particular, as KB faced a more difficult time than ever, such as falling into a losing streak right after the opening, Park Ji-soo’s return steadily emerged as a hot topic. 먹튀검증
KB said, “The team’s performance and Park Ji-soo’s return are separate,” but new information (?) always appeared. He didn’t join the team, but it was said that he had already started working out individually, and that he was steadily lifting weights. All was not true. In mid-November, Park Ji-soo’s future has finally risen to the surface.
“As I got better little by little, I coordinated the situation with the hospital and the club and set up a schedule to join the team. About a week before I returned to the team, I started touching the ball outside. It was to start living together while eating together, going to a cafe, and taking a walk. It was just starting to adapt to return to the original life. But I am also a player, so I thought that it was really not okay to go in and do nothing. Even if I take a break for 1-2 months during vacation, my cheeks disappear, but I took 4 and a half months off. I couldn’t exercise at all during my break. It was so strange to touch my cheek while doing nothing other than walking.”
After his return, adaptation to the team went smoothly.
“I was very worried. I was worried that symptoms would appear while living together and adversely affect the team atmosphere. I could be stressed about other things other than basketball. When I heard that there were rumors that I started exercising, I was embarrassed and thought, ‘I really don’t understand the situation I’m in’.”
“But after returning, there was no problem with my team life. Nobody really cared about me. I didn’t say anything, and it was like a normal day. It’s like the last 4 months or more when I wasn’t on the team didn’t exist at all. My colleagues and the team really cared about me. So I think I got used to it faster. .”
KB players made a promise to fill Park Ji-soo’s void even in the off-season, but avoided contacting Park Ji-soo as much as possible. It was a deliberate consideration in case I contacted Park Ji-soo again for any reason. Even if we contacted him somehow, we didn’t talk about basketball or anything related to his comeback.
However, Heo Ye-eun was an exception. Heo Ye-eun said before the season, “Everyone is doing this, but I’m the only one who keeps in touch as usual and annoys her sister. She thinks that if no one calls her, she might feel sad or bored, so she does it on purpose.”
“Ah… really… (Heo) Ye-eun got it wrong. I wasn’t saddened at all… Only the real Ye-eun kept in touch and openly asked, ‘When are you going to return?’ No… I’m having a hard time too… He’s really no different from usual. (Laughs) I really laughed a lot because of Yeeun.”
“But there were times when I didn’t answer the phone because it bothered me because it really did come in every day? Then he sent me a message saying, ‘You’re on this unnie’s phone and you’re not answering the phone again.’ He said, ‘Please contact me only 3 times until you return to the national team’. I’m really not getting calls. It wasn’t too bad, so I contacted you this time. Aren’t you bothered when the person you contact every day doesn’t tell you not to do it? After answering the phone, he said, ‘I was saving it because he only told me to do it 3 times’. The push and pull was supposed to be with her boyfriend, but it was the two of them. I guess this is why neither of them have boyfriends.” Heo Ye-eun, who
grew up as the team’s main guard last season and became ‘the guard who knows Park Ji-soo best’, has become like Park Ji-soo’s younger brother.
“Somehow, it feels like a younger sister who doesn’t exist in the world. Even my mom calls Ye-eun the youngest. From her point of view, she seems to think of Ye-eun as a small and cute daughter who can’t come out of my family. Besides, unlike me, Ye-eun is very good to my mother. She speaks well. He listens, speaks kindly… But, Ye-eun’s actions to her mother aren’t that different from mine, are they?”