The Korean Basketball League will tip-off its 17th season this fall. Here is a list of teams who have decided to re-sign their foreign talents for the upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Ulsan Mobis Phoebeus
Rod Benson – $42,350 USD per month
Benson is entering his fifth season in South Korea. In five years, Benson has been in the KBL finals all five years, winning two championships. If his talent doesn’t attract the Korean fans, his social media activity will. Just simply search #longasmykoreansloveme on any social network and you will know what I mean.
Ricardo Ratliff – $42,350 USD per month Ratliff, at 25 years old, has three years of KBL under his belt. He is an athletic big man who runs the floor very well with the fast paced Korean guards. The Missouri Mizzou alumni, along with Benson, has two KBL rings in his young pro basketball career.
Seoul SK Knights
Aaron Haynes – $42,350 USD per month
Haynes has become the godfather of Korean basketball. He will enter his seventh year of KBL basketball and is hungry for a KBL championship. Haynes’ Korean resume includes a KBL championship, one KBL league MVP, two regular season championships and two KBL scoring titles. This spring, Haynes expressed interest in Korean citizenship to eventually be a part of Korea’s national basketball team but plans fell through due to mis-communications between the KBL and the Korean Basketball Association.
Courtney Sims – $42,350 USD per month At 6’11 (211 c.m.), Sims towers over Korean players. The 2009 NBA D-League MVP will enter his fourth year in the KBL. Sims is a nightmare for opposing defenses due to his length and ability to crash the offensive glass. With Sims on the floor, SK’s shooters have a green light to let it fly knowing there is a good chance Sims will be there for the put back if they miss.
Changwon LG Sakers
Davon Jefferson – $38,500 USD per month When Jefferson isn’t with his West Coast California crew, or playing in the infamous Drew League, he is playing center for the up and coming LG Sakers. Jefferson toured the European basketball market before signing with LG last year where he led the team to the 2013-2014 KBL finals. He was the 2013-2014 KBL MVP for foreign players. His game is dynamic in the sense that he can create his own shot from anywhere on the floor. A soft touch around the rim and a high basketball IQ are the small things that make up this his big time. A good re-sign here from the LG Sakers.
Chris Massie – $35,000 USD per month At 37 years old, Chris Massie shows no signs of fatigue. Note last season, the KBL played 10 minute quarters while this year they will play 12 minute quarters. Still, I don’t think the extra eight minutes will have any affect on Massie’s game. His story is unique. He didn’t start playing basketball until his early twenties. Call him the natural. Massie’s spark off the bench was a key factor in LG’s run to the finals. He’s a bruiser that never backs down from any opponent. He and his foreigner teammate Davon Jefferson used to play against each other in a pro league in France and have become good friends.
Jeonju KCC Egis
Tyler Wilkerson – $38,500 USD per month Wilkerson is a scorer who provides instant offense on an offense heavy KCC squad. If the KBL had a most improved player award, Wilkerson would have won that award. He receives excellent coaching from an NBA legend in Chuck “the rifleman” Person who was brought in as an assistant. Wilkerson also plays with one of Koreas top prospect in Mingoo Kim and is set to play next to the Korean giant Ha Seung-jin who is set to make his come back after a two year absence due to mandatory army service. During the off-season, Wilkerson will play in China for the Guizhou Senhang of the NBL.
Incheon E-Land Elephants
Ricardo Powell – $35,000 USD per month Powell will enter his ninth season as a professional basketball player that has taken him to four different continents. It will be his second consecutive season in Incheon but the third of his career (he played in Incheon during the 2008-2009 KBL season). Powell is a savvy wing player who can stretch the defense with his range. Powell is a consistent player who is very coachable, and that is why E-Land decided to bring him back for another season.
Charles Rhodes – $38,500 USD per month Call him the best kept secret. Charles Rhodes can ball. He made his KBL debut in 2010 when he took home MVP honors while playing for the Busan KT SonicBoom. After two years in Europe, Rhodes was selected in the first round by the Incheon E-Land Elephants and has no plan on leaving anytime soon. He is actively involved in Korean current events and has built a solid fan base. He is currently in Europe playing summer ball in preparations to the 2014-2015 KBL season. Interesting side note: Rhodes played high school basketball with NBA veteran Monte Ellis and played AAU basketball with NBA veteran ‘Big Al’ Jefferson.