Korean Basketball League: 5 takeaways from 2014-2015 media day

The Korean Basketball League (KBL) held its annual media day at the Plaza hotel’s grand banquet hall in Seoul on Monday. The two hour event included player and coach photo shoots, interviews and official introductions of new products and regulations for this upcoming season. Here are the top-5 highlights from Monday’s event.

1. The KBL introduced its new “FIBA Rules” for this upcoming season.


Photo by jumpball.co.kr

Quarter lengths and halftime: Games will be four 10-minute quarters and halftime will be 15 minutes long. This could mean more time for K-Pop halftime shows.

Resetting the shot clock on offensive rebounds: When the a team gathers an offensive rebound, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds and not 24 seconds. The shot clock will still reset to 24 seconds on defensive rebounds. The goal of this is to increase pressure on the attacking team and to increase the speed of the game.

Timeout rule: From now on, players will not be allowed to call timeouts on the floor. From this season on, only the head coach and assistant coach has the right to call a timeout from the bench. This prevents players who are scrambling for a loose ball to call a quick timeout before the opposing team can get their hands on it for a “jumpball”.

Timeout rule 2: Each team will have a total of five timeouts per game. Two timeouts are granted in the first half and the remaining three are available in the second half. Each timeout shall last one minute. A maximum of two timeouts can be called in the last two minutes of the game. If the game goes into overtime, each team is granted one timeout.

Travelling: It is legal when a player falls and slides on the floor while holding the ball or, while lying or sitting on the floor, gains control of the ball. It is a violation if the player then rolls or attempts to stand up while holding the ball. Players can also gather their own miss without the ball having touched the rim.

Goaltending and basket interference: The KBL is now allowing its players to play the ball off the rim. Meaning players can make a move on the ball if he ball has touched the rim. However goaltending still exists if the ball is on its downward flight to the basket, or after it has touched the backboard.

Unsportsmanlike fouls: An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact foul which, in the judgement of an official is when a player does not a legitimate attempt to directly play the ball within the spirit and intent of the rules. Excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball. Contact by the defensive player from behind or laterally on an opponent in an
attempt to stop the fast break and there is no defensive player between the offensive player and the opponent’s basket. Free throw(s) shall be awarded to the player who was fouled, followed by a throw-in at the centre line extended, opposite the scorer’s table.

Technical fouls: A technical foul will now be charged against him as a player foul and shall count as one of the team fouls. If the technical is awarded to a team bench personnel or if the technical foul shall be charged against the coach, it shall not count as one of the team fouls.

Team captains can now get a full explanation on calls from referees: The rule states that if a captain wants an explanation from the referee, then the captain must very polite when asking for one. Again, it strictly states that the captain must be very, very polite with his question.

Video replay: Yes the KBL is finally adopting the video replay rule. Here are the instances when a referee can go to video replay to review:

At the end of the period or extra period,

– Whether a shot for a successful field goal was released before the game.

– Clock signal sounded for the end of the period.

– whether and how much time shall be displayed on the game clock, if:
An out-of-bounds violation of the shooter occurred.
A shot clock violation occurred.
An 8-second violation occurred.
A foul was called before the end of playing time.

When the game clock shows 2:00 minutes or less in the fourth period and in each extra period,

– Whether a shot for a successful field goal was released before the shot
clock signal sounded.
– Whether a shot for a field goal was released before any foul was called.
– To identify the player who has caused the ball to go out-of-bounds.

During any time of the game,

– Whether the successful field goal shall count for 2 or 3 points.
– After a malfunction of the game clock or the shot clock occurs, on how
much time the clock(s) shall be corrected.
– To identify the correct free-throw shooter.
– To identify the involvement of team members and team followers during a fight.

2. The return of Ha Seung Jin.

Ha Seung Jin

He is the first and only Korean to ever play in the NBA. His presence at media day was immediately felt. He’s 7’2 (221 c.m.) and weighs 300 lb. (136 kg) and has been out of basketball for two years (serving his mandatory military service). He’s back playing for his old team, KCC Egis, where he won two KBL championships (2009, 2011). He and Korean national team point-guard Kim Taesul running the pick-and-roll will be a dynamic threat.

Twenty-three year-old Kim Jong Kyu is supposed to be the next dominant big-man in Korea. But when media asked Kim Jong Kyu about Ha Seung Jin, he said, “Ha Seung Jin is very tall and strong. Maybe I can’t defend him one-on-one. So we will need a team defense to stop him.”

Ha Seung Jin on Kim Jong Kyu,

“I watched him play at the Asian Games. I think he is getting better and better. Especially his ability to shoot the mid-range jumper. Because of my speed (lack thereof), I think my head coach will tell me to guard foreign players, not Kim Jong Kyu. But if I have to matchup against him, I will do my best.”

3. New commissioner, new problem:


Photo by jumpball.co.kr

The KBL appointed a new commissioner this off-season. Kim Young Ki will be taking over as lead boss of the league. Earlier this year, Kim Young Ki stated an upcoming change to the league’s foreign players rule. As of now, only one foreign player can play with four Korean player on the floor. Each team has two foreign players. Most teams even out the playing time between foreign players.

Kim Young Ki wants to allow both foreign players to play on the floor at the same time. This ruled is to be implemented in the 2015-2016 KBL season. When this was brought up at media day, coaches from every team argued against the new rule. The commissioner left the room before any reporter could ask him questions directly.

4. Goodbye STAR, hello NIKE:


Photo by jumpball.co.kr

The KBL will bring on NIKE as their new official game ball sponsor. STAR is a Korean brand that has held its position as the league’s game ball since the league’s inception. Being the official game ball of the Asian Games, many players of different nations complained about the material of the STAR game ball. The Chinese Basketball Association among many other leagues are using NIKE as their official game ball.

5. An English version of the 2014-2015 KBL regular season schedule:

Here it is, yours truly from Basketball Buddha. – Click here for English schedule -> 2014-2015_KBL Schedule Sheet1

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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