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From Dangerous Injuries to Conflicts Between Teams

Seoul SK's Ahn Young-joon's rise and captain Huh Il-young a month ago

Recently, the number of injured players in professional basketball is increasing. Serious injuries are a huge blow to individual players and their team's performance, but they are also causing concern as they serve as an excuse for conflict between teams.

In the game between Seoul SK and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis held at Jamsil Student Gymnasium on the 18th, SK Ahn Young-joon suffered an unexpected injury in the middle of the second quarter. Hyundai Mobis Jang Jae-seok, who was competing under the goal, fell on the court while landing after jumping, and Ahn Young-joon's leg, which was standing right behind him, failed to withstand Jang Jae-seok's physique and bent his knee.

Ahn collapsed on the spot and complained of severe pain, and failed to return to the court after being taken to the bench. After the game, SK manager Jeon Hee-chul said, "Ahn's internal ligament could be ruptured," expressing concern that he will likely miss the game for a long time.

SK fought hard with Oh Jae-hyun scoring a career-high 36 points, but failed to fill Ahn Young-joon's gap and lost 94-97 to Hyundai Mobis. For SK, the hit is expected to be inevitable as Kim Sun-hyung and Heo Il-young have already left due to injury, and Ahn Young-joon, who was the team's housekeeper, is also missing.

Immediately after the game, however, Hyundai Mobis players gathered on the court and were about to give the last high five when a person approached them and raised his voice. It was SK's captain, Heo Il-young. Heo Il-young, who appeared in plain clothes after failing to participate in the game due to an injury, started to protest against the Hyundai Mobis players.

Heo Il-young is known to have strongly complained about Jang Jae-seok's actions, which provided an excuse for Ahn's injury. Jang looked perplexed by Heo's protest. Heo and Jang were teammates when they were Goyang Orion. Fortunately, both SK and Hyundai Mobis quickly dissuaded Heo, which did not lead to a big conflict.

Coincidentally, Heo Il-young was also injured during a match against Hyundai Mobis on December 7 last year, just over a month ago. Even the injury process due to collision with opponent player was similar to that of Ahn Young-jun. At that time, Heo suffered a broken right knee when Kim Jun-il fell while having a physical fight with Kim Jun-il, who was playing on the screen.

However, the umpire declared a foul on Heo Il-young at the time. Heo Il-young, who was replaced by an injury, was diagnosed with eight weeks of rest due to damaged ligaments in his inner knee during a hospital examination.

Against Hyundai Mobis, Heo Il-young reacted sensitively when his teammate Ahn Young-joon suffered a similar injury again. Of course, it cannot be concluded that Hyundai Mobis players intentionally caused the injury. Heo Il-young was in a normal physical fight with Kim Jun-il, and Jang Jae-seok would have been difficult to recognize that Ahn Young-jun was behind his back.

However, experts point out that players' "unnecessary behavior" can lead to injury risk. Due to the nature of basketball, physical fights are essential, and players are often in close contact. In this case, they habitually fall or make exaggerated gestures to induce fouls. Even if it is not intentional, it can cause serious injury when colliding with other players. Heo Il-young's appeal to Hyundai Mobis' team also seems to be dissatisfied with this sense of partnership.

In fact, professional basketball has recently been embroiled in a huge controversy over the sense of partnership. In a match between Goyang Sono and Anyang Jeonggwanjang held at Goyang Gymnasium on Dec. 28 last year, foreign player Onuaku injured Lens Abandan, a Filipino player of the court.

At the time, Onuaku pushed the player from behind who jumped toward the goal post for rebound. After falling to the ground after losing his balance, the player suffered two broken waist bones, sprained wrist ligament and concussion, which took four weeks to recover. It was a dizzying scene that could have put the player's life in danger. Chung also had to deal a blow to his team's core player, Avalokiteshvara.

The KBL held a finance committee meeting and decided that Onuaku's actions were intentional, but the punishment was only a slap on the wrist with a fine of 3 million won. The controversy escalated as all the judges who ran the game were also given warning measures.

In addition, even after the accident, the fact that Onuaku did not properly apologize to the peninsula was known, and the public criticism intensified. Basketball fans are strongly angry and are still denouncing the KBL and Onuaku.

On the 17th, a match between Sono and Jeong Kwan-jang was held at Goyang Gymnasium. It was a return match in which the two teams met again at the same place about three weeks after the injury incident on the peninsula.

Sono won the game again this time, but Onuaku had to suffer from tremendous booing from visiting fans in Jeonggwanjang whenever he caught the ball. There was an ironic scene in which the home team player was booed at a decibel larger than cheering at the home stadium. It was a rare scene in the KBL, where hostile relations between the teams are rare. The conflict between the two teams over the Onuaku-Abando incident is likely to continue throughout this season.

Players who play together on the court should be well-intentioned competitors and should not be Enemy. It is a loss not only to the players but also to the fans that professional players whose physical property is not enough to play on the court due to injury.

Even if it is not intentional, it is appropriate for each other to refrain from playing that harms the opponent or poses a risk of doing so. In addition, sincere apologies and reflections should come first for wrong behavior. If you adhere to the basics of partnership and fair play, the injuries to players could be greatly reduced.
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Friday, January 19, 2024
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