The hottest team in the league right now is definitely the Wonju DBs. They are in first place with a whopping 10-1 record (0.909 winning percentage) through 10 games. It’s hard to believe this is just an early season flurry. They’re the only one of the 10 teams to maintain a scoring rating in the 90s (93.9), and they lead the league in assists (1st), steals (3rd), and blocked shots (2nd). They are also among the top teams in 3-pointers made (2nd) and free throws made (3rd).
The team is considered to have stabilized, so barring any upsets, they should be one of the favorites to win the title this season. Few expected DB to be this strong this early in the season. This is because there were so many other teams that were expected to contend for the title, including Seoul SK, Suwon KT, Changwon LG, and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, including Busan KCC, which was called the overwhelming super team candidate, even though its basic strengths such as roster composition and depth were not bad. The most common assessment of DB was that it was a dark horse.
Leading the charge for DB are first-option foreign player Dedrick Lawson (26‧201cm) and Lee Sun Albano (27‧185cm), the biggest hit of the Asian Quarterfinals. Their offense is strong, but they’re most notable for their high BQ and passing ability. With players at the front and back who can control the tempo of the game smoothly, it is hard not to pass the ball well.
Kim Jong-kyu (32‧206.3cm) and Kang Sang-jae (29‧200cm), who have been difficult to combine, are now spending more time on the court at the same time, and in the empty spaces that appear from time to time, the outside shooting of Kim Young-hyun, Choi Seung-wook, Shin Min-soo, and Park In-woong is on fire. The ability to play both high and archery basketball makes it very difficult for opponents to deal with. It’s encouraging to see that the team’s confidence and mood have been boosted by the successive wins.
Another player who is expected to be a force to be reckoned with is Doo Kyung-min (32-184 cm), the “little rhinoceros”. Since joining the team as the No. 3 pick in the 2013 rookie draft, he has developed his own style of play.
With strong physical strength, he moves diligently in the offense and exudes tremendous energy through confident shooting, breakthroughs, and active defense. He has been criticized for his guarding skills and his ability to set up his teammates, but his prolific offensive output more than makes up for it. Like Lee Dae-sung and Lee Kwan-hee, who have similar but different qualities, he is a great weapon if used properly.
Some even use the phrase “the strongest number two” to describe Doo Kyung-min. While he may not be able to lead the team as an ace and signature star, he has realized his full potential when paired with an all-around partner who is equally adept at leading and sensing. This was the case when he played with Kim Min-gu at Kyung Hee University and Dionte Burton at DB.
Based on his height, it would be natural to assume that Doo would be the field commander, but it was shooting guard Kim Min-koo who actually orchestrated the game at Kyung Hee University. As an all-around shooter from inside and outside the arc, the “genius” Kim Min-goo, who possessed overwhelming abilities in terms of vision, sense, and passing ability, led the team from the front, while Doo Kyung-min’s high activity level worked in synergy.
The same was true with Burton. Despite only playing for one season, Burton was a dominant all-around player at DB, as evidenced by his reputation as an all-time great technician. Basically, his speed and athleticism made him difficult to defend against both domestic and foreign players. In addition, he also played a significant role as a leading guard based on his solid ball handling and high BQ. In the process, Doo Kyung-min, who received the “Burton effect,” was able to win the regular season MVP.
If he had played consistently as the ‘strongest two’, DB would not have had to worry, but unfortunately, Doo Kyung-min has a strong personality that is a ‘double-edged sword’. Doo Kyung-min’s pride in himself is so great that there is a saying that he has the ‘strongest ego in the history of basketball 캡틴토토 주소‘.
Of course, it would be beneficial for the team to play hard with such confidence, but unfortunately, this has not been the case so far.
In June 2021, Doo Kyung-min moved to Korea Gas Corporation in a trade with Kang Sang-jae. He vowed to make something of himself in his new team, but the results were not good. Instead of improving the team’s performance, he started feuding with his teammates and ruined the atmosphere.
As a result, he became a free agent, and there were too many negative images surrounding him, regardless of his skills. However, his home team DB reached out to him.
In various interviews, Doo Kyung-min spat out words full of pride, and admiration poured in from all directions, saying, “This is Doo Kyung-min.” It was clear that he was a very rare person who was full of self-love to the bone in the domestic basketball world, where most players are humble.
After being sidelined with a right knee injury at the end of last season, Doo made a comeback through the KBL Cup this year. However, a flare-up of pain forced him to return to the sidelines, and he is currently training with the D-League to get back in shape. Fans have mixed feelings about Doo’s early return.
The addition of another starter is always a plus in terms of depth, as long as he can get on the court. Along with Albano, he’ll be able to create a dynamic front line, and he’ll also be a powerful joker when he’s used as a sixth man to give the starters a break. But that’s assuming he takes that role seriously.
At DB, Dedrick Lawson, Albano, and Kang Sang-jae are the core of the offense. If a player thinks ‘I’m the ace’ and plays too much on the court, it can break the good flow. Of course, it’s unlikely that Doo Kyung-min, at his age, will make a difficult comeback and do something so reckless as to throw cold water on a good team. However, a person’s mentality and tendencies can sometimes override reason. If Doo Kyung-min can seal his past bad behavior and dedicate himself to the team, Wonju Sanseong will be even stronger.