“I thought it was a challenge, and I prepared with the thought of accepting the consequences. Only then can I dream.”
Lee Dae-sung, who declared an overseas stage challenge as a professional basketball free agent (FA), was firm. In a phone interview with KBS, the word Daesung Lee mentioned the most was ‘dream’, not money. Lee Dae-seong, who became a free agent at Korea Gas Corporation after the 2022-2023 season, is currently one of the ‘uncontracted players’. He is aiming for a place in the Australian League.
■ “Abandoning the FA contract to advance to Australia… Clubs also support”
According to the current FA system, when a free agent is announced immediately after the season ends, a 15-day free negotiation period is given between the club and the player. You can freely negotiate and sign contracts with any club, including your original team.
For players who did not sign a contract during this period, they will receive a letter of intent for the next three days. At this time, the player who has received the letter of intent must sign a contract with one of the submitted clubs. If you do not sign a contract, you will become a ‘player refused to join’ and lose your qualification as a KBL player for 5 years. In effect, it is a ‘five-year punishment’.
Daegu Korea Gas Corporation said on the 20th, during the FA voluntary negotiations, “Lee Dae-seong is challenging to advance overseas after consultation with the club, and respects the player’s intention and did not sign a contract.” Lee Dae-sung expressed his gratitude to the club in an interview with KBS.
“Korea Gas Corporation and two other clubs also contacted me. But I politely told them without asking the amount. I want to go abroad. The player has no option to refuse. If he does not sign a contract, he will not be able to play for 5 years. That’s why KOGAS informed other clubs of my challenge to advance overseas. They did my job for me.”
■ “Currently, I’m willing to put up with various things to go abroad” In order for
Lee Dae-sung to become a true free person under the current system, there must be no club submitting a letter of intent. However, this is not an area that Lee Dae-sung can choose, so Lee Dae-sung is determined to accept all the results with the feeling of ‘the great man of truth’.
“I have a child and a family, so I can’t take on a reckless challenge. But I believe that playing in a bigger league will pay me back. I don’t plan on doing that. If that happens, I will receive a penalty (suspension of qualification), but I’ve been preparing to go abroad with the intention of accepting this as well, so that I can dream.”
■ Preparing to enter Australia… A year ago, 3 or 4 teams offered recruitment, and they are still looking for him.
Lee Dae-sung is looking for a team he can play for through a local agent in Australia. He received offers from 3 to 4 teams including Perth a year ago, and he is expected to be able to because he proved his value as the top scorer for domestic players in the KBL regular league last season. Currently, I am thinking of Australia rather than Japan.스포츠토토
“Like baseball’s Hyun-jin Ryu and soccer’s Son Heung-min, I think Korean basketball needs players who challenge themselves in a bigger league to be competitive. .Somebody has to bump into it, so we have to find a better way.”
Daesung Lee’s goals are not limited to Australia. Wouldn’t it reach the juniors and colleagues of Korean basketball who have the same dream? Now that the careers of major players such as Choi Jun-yong, Oh Se-geun, and Yang Hong-seok have been decided, ‘Will a KBL player who challenges the Australian league be born?’ ‘Or will he advance to KBL?’ Basketball fans’ eyes are on Lee Dae-sung.