The one-two punch that won 52 straight games together at Chung-Ang University reunited. Their goal is to help SK become a household name.
Seoul SK held a press conference with Oh and Kim at the KBL Center on the 8th. The KBL Center was packed with reporters, and the expectations for the reunited duo were very high.
Oh was a signature star of the Anyang KGC. After being selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 rookie draft, he led the team to four championships through the 2022-2023 season and was named playoff MVP three times. Along with Yang Hee-jong, he was KGC’s most iconic player, but he made waves when he became a free agent and signed a three-year, 750 million won contract with SK.
Beyond KGC, the move of one of the KBL’s biggest stars was also talked about as a reunion with Kim Sun-hyung. Oh and Kim were classmates at Chung-Ang University. He’s a year older than her, but they spent four years of their college careers together. It was more than just motivation, it was the best one-two punch in the college league. In their first season in the college league (2010), the duo not only won the title, but also led Chungang University to a 52-game winning streak.
Oh and Kim reunited 12 years after graduating in 2011. Both are now in their mid-30s, but still have a huge impact on the league. Kim was named playoff MVP in the 2021-2022 season, earning himself a salary cap last season, and he followed that up with the regular season MVP in the 2022-2023 season. As mentioned earlier, Oh Se-geun also made his presence felt in the championship game against SK.
After being enemies for over a decade, Oh and Kim will be playing for the same goal starting in the 2023-2024 season. The press conference was also organized by SK, as the team was inundated with media interviews about Oh and Kim.
Kim Sun-hyung (hereinafter referred to as Sun-hyung): (The press) came more than the championship game, so I’m grateful. (Oh) Se-geun, I’m very happy to have you here.
Se-geun Oh: I’m happy to be here to talk to so many people, and I’m even happier to be here with (Kim) Seon-hyung.
You must have thought a lot about leaving KGC.
Segeun_It’s true that I thought about it a lot. It was hard because I had to leave behind what I had achieved for 12 years. On the other hand, I wanted to take on a challenge with a new team. I talked to Sun-hyung, (Heo) Il-young, and other people around me before making the decision.
How much of a stake did Sun-hyung have in the move?
It’s hard to say what percentage, but it’s true that he had a lot to do with it. He’s playing for a new team called SK. I think I have to adjust to all the players, not just Sun-hyung. I’ve been playing with a lot of players in KGC, so I’m confident about that. I’m confident in that aspect. I’ll try to make sure we have good synergy.
Lin_Inside, I really wanted Se-geun to come. Free agency is a once-in-a-lifetime choice for a player, but it’s also a sensitive part. I called him because he was still not signing. I asked him what he was going to do, and he seemed very worried. Until he signed, I was nervous and praying, thinking, ‘Is he really going to sign with us?
What did you talk about on the phone with Kim Sun-hyung?
I didn’t sign because of Segeun_Sunhyung’s words. I told him that I felt like I could recreate my childhood memories and good memories. I’ve grown up a lot since then, but I think I can do better, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m also worried about it, but I’ll try to manage it well.
In a past interview, you said that “SK is a team that any player would want to go to”?
Se-geun_Sun-hyung and Il-young told me about it. I knew the team had a great atmosphere. It’s hard to say, but there were a lot of things I liked about it, so I chose it. I’m looking forward to it.
Did you ever feel like you were being venomous towards each other during the championship match?
Se-geun_I hated him from game one. It was really shitty, with all the bullshit shots. You know that. It’s true that our team worked on a lot of ways to stop Linear, but it didn’t work. In Game 7, we had an unbelievable performance. I was nervous, but in the end we won. I don’t hate it now.
It was always about the moment, scoring, grabbing rebounds, making crucial 3-pointers, assists. I wanted to win more than I hated him. She motivated me throughout the series and I respected her. That’s why I was able to fight harder in Game 7.
How would you describe your performance during your time at Chung-Ang University?
I didn’t lose once in 52 matches. I played with a lot of pressure to win by 20 points or more. If we didn’t win, the coach would scold us. I played the way I wanted to play. I don’t think it’s going to happen now because their teams are such high level professionals, but we both won playoff MVPs. I expect the synergy to be there.
Se-geun: When I think back to college, I only remember having fun all the time. We had a lot of players like (Ham) Jun-hoo, (Park) Chan-sung, and others, and it was always fun to play with Sun-hyung. The workouts were ridiculously hard, but we got through it. We’re older, but it’s our job, our goal, to create the same synergy as when we were younger.
There’s also the pressure of not performing well when you haven’t seen each other in a long time. Do you have any concerns about the word “seniors”?
Linear_You say “seniors,” but you have two playoff MVPs in there. That’s the answer. You keep talking about age, and it reminds me of a great line from The Glory. “How long will you be young? Will you be young next year?” At the media day for the championship game, I was Moon Dong-eun, but this time I was Park Yeon-jin. We played together for five years, and I think it’s disrespectful to take a shot at her. I hope our fans and teammates won’t be hurt.
It’s a burden for me, and it’s a burden for Seunghyun. I’m sure it’s the same for the team. We will work tirelessly to remove the burden. I’m old, but if I prepare hard for the game regardless of my age, I’ll do well. I think that will come into it. I will handle the pressure well.
Which nickname hits harder, ‘Old Man’ or ‘Mannequin’?
Linear: Personally, I don’t like the ‘old man’ thing. I’m a ‘yuppie’, but I’m not a ‘geriatric’. Neither is offensive. I think that’s the beauty of professional sports, to accept it and have fun with it.
Which team do you think has the edge in the matchup with KCC?
Linear_I think we’ll see. Besides KCC, I think KT will be very strong. I think LG will also do well. I think a lot of teams will compete for the lead, not just us.
SK plays running basketball, what role will you play?
Se-geun: We don’t play for over 30 minutes, close to 40 minutes like we used to. I think I can fit in well with the team. I’ve played well with any team and any coach, including the national team. I think I’ll be able to fit in and play the way the coach thinks basketball should be played, so I don’t have any pressure on that aspect. I think I’ll find a new side of myself. The team will be better.
Excitement about playing with Jamil Warne
When you play with Segeun_Spellman, the (opposing) domestic player is going to stop him. It was a bit of a struggle. Playing with Warne will eliminate that. He’s a very smart player, so I can match up well with him. I think the high-low and spacing will work well together. We’ll have to talk about a lot of things, but I’m not worried about that.
Linear_I want to see it in a new light. Warney and I were a one-two punch, and now Segeun is here. When Warney posts up, Segeun can create spacing with his three-point shot, or me and Segeun can play two-on-two. Having one more axis is very important for point guards. I think it will be an ideal lineup when (Ahn) Young-joon comes back. I’m looking forward to it. As for Warney’s personality and style, I think Se-geun will adapt quickly when we talk about it. I’m looking forward to it.
You’ve received a lot of love at KGC. Do you have any greetings for the KGC fans and the new SK fans?
Se-geun_I joined the team in 2011. Twelve years was a short time and a long time. They have always been very supportive, whether I’m doing well or not, whether I’m sick or not. I am very grateful. I came to SK after 12 unforgettable years at KGC, and with the idea of a new start, I will work just as hard, if not harder, than a rookie (laughs). I’m sure the SK fans have a lot to look forward to and I’ll do my best to repay their love.
What about your physical condition?
Se-geun: I’m proud to say that I’ve been healthy for the last three seasons. Sickness is sickness, but I’m satisfied that I played without any major injuries. I didn’t take any time off because of injuries. At the end of the season, you need a lot of time to rehab and heal. I’ll have to continue to take care of my body and improve until the season starts. It’s hard to say how many minutes I’ll play, but I’ve talked to the coach about it. He said that it would be good to have a player who plays half and half with Bu Kyung-yi and is in good shape to play a little more. I agree. I haven’t started rehabilitation yet. I’m going to take it one step at a time and make sure I’m ready for the season.
How do you feel about your power this season compared to your strongest season?
Linear_I think our strongest season was 2021-2022, when we won the overall title. I think this season will be a little stronger.
In terms of members, I think we were strongest in 2016-2017 when we won the overall title. In terms of overall chemistry, we shouldn’t forget last season. I think we won each of our four titles because we were the strongest team in the league. It’s hard to pick just one season.
What do you think it will be like to go to Anyang Gymnasium as an away player?
Seun_I don’t know because I haven’t experienced it yet, but I think it would be very strange. In an interview after Game 7 of the championship, I said that it would be weird to wear a different uniform. I can’t describe how I’ll feel when I walk into Anyang Gymnasium in a different uniform.
Dream goals together
Linear_When I became the MVP of the playoffs and the MVP of the regular season, I felt something. There are parts of me that get scared when the expectations around me get higher, but I tend to try harder to motivate myself. This season, I was going to prepare with motivation, but having my brother Se-geun here took the pressure off. Two is better than one.
Se-geun_ (toward Kim Sun-hyung) You have to take the pressure. I’ve won a lot of titles and gotten a lot of awards during my career. There were some bumps in the road due to injuries, and I worked really hard to overcome them. I heard some bad things about my injuries, but I didn’t let it get to me. In fact, I don’t think I would be where I am today without my injury and the evaluation that came with it. I don’t want to suffer another major injury, but I’ll take what I can get and prepare myself to go even higher. I will prepare the same way I always do, in my own style. I’m going to make sure that I don’t become a nobody on the team, so I’m going to do well.
How would you summarize what you are to each other?
It’s like a linear partnership. We’re both married, but we’re partners in basketball. It’s also like a broken family. You have a really tight-knit family that grew up and grew apart. I hope that we can become a separated family that will get back together and live better. We seem to have our own story, our own romance.
I want to praise Segeun_Seonhyung, he’s a very respectable player. I see him trying to improve every season despite his young age. He’s my younger brother, but I admire him as a friend because he’s determined to not lose to anyone. I think he’s a player that a lot of basketball players can look up to, not just me.
Goals for next season
Linear_We’ve been together for 13 years, so we’ll show the fans what romantic basketball is all about this season. Se-geun won the championship, but I didn’t get a ring last season. I want to win a ring together.
Se-geun_You’ve always had injury issues. My first goal is to not get injured like the last three seasons. I’ve changed teams, so I’ll try to make up for it with good results with Sun-hyung, Il-young, Buk-kyung, and the younger players. I would like to say that we will win the championship, but it’s premature to talk about it now. 스포츠토토