“I’m here to give Heo Ung a championship ring.”
Men’s professional basketball free agent (FA) Choi Jun-yong (29), who made a surprise move to Jeonju KCC, held an introductory press conference at the Korean Basketball League (KBL) Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 22nd.
Recently, KCC signed a free agent contract with Choi for a total compensation of 600 million won ($420 million salary + 180 million won in incentives) and a contract period of five years. It was the most talked-about signing in this year’s free agency market.
This is the first time that Choi Jun-yong, who made his debut with Seoul SK in 2016, has changed teams. Since then, he has won two championships and one regular season title with SK and was named the regular season MVP in the 2021-2022 season. With the addition of Choi Jun-yong, KCC is said to have completed its roster with the likes of Huh Ung Song Kyo-chang, Lee Seung-hyun, and Ra Gun-ah.
At the press conference, Choi spoke candidly about the process of joining the team, his future plans, and more. With his trademark “straight talk,” he didn’t hesitate to make some sensitive comments, bringing laughter to the room.
Choi, who was interviewed alongside KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin, explained why he chose KCC: “KCC respected my dream of going to the American stage the most. The first reason was that they told me that if I produced good results at KCC, they would help me enter the US.” “Another reason was Laguna. I came here to make the Ricardo Ratliff (Laguna’s American name) of the past, who was always scared, and to give a ring to my brother Heo Ung, who has no championship ring.” “I will support Choi Jun-yong 100 percent in his quest to reach the United States. Whether he wins or not, I will help him if the opportunity comes. KCC has a strong network in the American league,” he responded.
“I know there were many things said about me during the free agency process. But I chose KCC because I want to be a ‘basketball king’ and not a ‘salary king,’ and to do that, I will make KCC the best team.” Choi continued with his trademark bubbly style of jokes and directness. “I don’t intend to change the image I had at SK just because I came to KCC,” he said. “I know that when I was at SK, coach Jeon Chang-jin didn’t like me very much. In fact, I didn’t like him either,” he said, bringing laughter to the press conference and the former coach. “But now that we’re on the same team, you’ll see why I’m a good player. I want to be the best in my own team,” he said, pledging his loyalty. The former coach also said, “I had heard a lot of things about him before, but when I finally met him, he was honest and manly. There will be conflicts, but there is a fox in the middle, Heo Ung. Heo Ung also called me a ‘brat’, but I’m actually younger than the players,” he said, looking forward to the chemistry between him and Choi Joon-yong.
The press conference also featured an unusual “second act” with Heo Ung coming to deliver a welcome bouquet. Heo Ung said, “Junyong and I were roommates in college. (I’ve been living with him like a brother. Everyone recognizes Choi’s basketball skills. I’m happy and feel good as a big brother.” He welcomed Choi Jun-yong, saying, “He’s a good friend of mine, and I’m happy to have him with me.” In response, Choi Jun-yong said, “From the outside, I felt that KCC had many good players, but the traffic was not organized. Now, I will do bad things such as giving passes for them to eat (receive) in a friendly manner.” “I am ‘Crazy X’ who is thirsty for victory rather than greedy for scoring. I will be a player who makes KCC players happy,” he said.
“When I was in SK, we said among ourselves, ‘If we can stop Heo Ung, we can win.’ But I’m here, and Song Kyo-chang is coming back. Now it’s going to be, ‘Why can’t we just stop Huh Ung?” he said with confidence.
메이저놀이터 “The team I’m on will always be better than after the championship. “I’m not SK anymore,” Choi said loudly, “I’m so sorry to the SK fans who have been supporting me, and I’ll make it up to the KCC fans who have been hating me,” he vowed.