‘Basketball Celebrity’ DB Lee Kwan-hee on the hard-to-hide ‘competitive drive’ that made him who he is

“Basketball Celebrity” Lee Kwan-hee (35, 190 cm, guard) is preparing to play for the third team of his KBL career.

Lee has played 12 seasons in the KBL, including last season when he debuted with the Seoul Samsung in 2011-12. In his first five seasons, he struggled to break out. He made his presence felt in 2017-18, averaging 8.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while playing over 20 minutes per game.

After that, Lee really took off. The following year, he emerged as Samsung’s mainstay, averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 토토사이트 and 1.7 assists while playing over 29 minutes per game.

After his stint with Samsung, Lee switched to Changwon LG in the mid-to-late 2020-21 season, and his competitive spirit seemed to have ignited. In 14 games, he played 34:06 minutes, averaging 17.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, establishing himself as an LG ace.

For the next three seasons, Lee played in the KBL in an LG jersey, missing only one game and showing the class of a captain. Last season, he made the sacrificial decision to give way to LG’s future, Yoo Yoo-sang.

He has spent the last four seasons with a high energy level and defense that is backed up by his penetration, ability to shoot from anywhere, and high energy level. After finishing in the top four last season, the LG and DB needed to make a change for the higher ranks and announced two trades after the free agency period.

The main players were Lee Kwan-hee and Doo Kyung-min. The news was a nuclear bomb, as Lee Kwan-hee would don the jersey for the third time in his KBL career.

Lee Kwan-hee is currently participating in the team’s training camp, which began on April 24th. We caught up with him at DB’s practice gym in Wonju on Friday (May 5), about two weeks later.

“It’s been about two weeks. I’m satisfied. Everything is in one place, so it’s very comfortable to work out. Traveling and resting have been completely solved.” He continued, “I’m also training more than I did at LG. We didn’t do night workouts back then. We had morning and afternoon workouts. Now, we do everything together, and we do night workouts every day. I’m doing it with (Lee) Yong-woo and (Kim) Hoon-yi. The two juniors work really hard. They are the first ones in the gym. I want to help them and teach them what I know. After the workouts, we go out together to find nightclubs and restaurants. It’s fun,” he said, adding that he is adjusting well to his new team.

Lee Kwan-hee continued, “LG has become my goal for next season. Since my debut, I’ve been playing every season with a ‘must win’ mentality. It’s a good motivation. It gives me a reason to keep training hard. I’m having fun training. I have a positive attitude and a desire to win,” she said.

He added, “Due to free agency and trades, (Lee) Jae-do and (Jung) Hee-jae left first. I felt a little bad. I think I played my best years at LG. I definitely feel bad about the parting of ways. I didn’t even get to say goodbye properly at the end. I spent two years as captain with the motto of ‘one team’ and unity. I think I did a lot of work to build a bridge between the coaching staff and the players. When I joined the DB team for the first time, I felt very sad for coach Cho Sang-hyun. I felt like I was in a different country, not with the players, but with Jang Soo (laughs). “My last memory at LG was watching from the bench when the buzzer sounded to end the fourth-place game,” he said.

The conversation continued.

“During the regular season, I was the captain of LG and faced DB. We had a fierce battle for the top spot, so I think I was more nervous against DB because of that. I’ve finally gotten over it, but I’m trying to turn that into a competitive spirit in practice. Actually, I haven’t gotten over it (laughs), but I’m trying to turn it into a good competitive spirit through practice. I don’t want to lose,” he said.

The topic switched to the present.

“I’ve never thought about changing basketball,” Lee said. From Samsung to LG to DB, we have the idea of ‘doing whatever the coach wants’. That’s how I was taught. If you are given a role as a defender, you have to play defense, and if you are given a role as an offensive player, you have to play offense. Last year, Coach Cho was more in favor of (U) Ki-sang. I didn’t understand it all, but I adapted to it.”

It was a response to the keyword of adjustment in a new team.

“My body is still very good. So is my competitive drive. I think I can do as much as I want in the 2024-24 season. He played as a mainstay for Samsung and LG. DB has good existing players in the guard position. I think if I can bring my own color to DB rather than trying to fit in with the team, it will help me improve on last year’s performance. I think I can fill in the gaps. I think my play will definitely help us shake off the disappointment of last year’s fourth-place finish.”

Finally, Lee Kwan-hee said, “I haven’t had a detailed conversation with the coach yet. I’m sure he has his reasons for bringing me in the trade. I think I need to show it on the basketball court.” “Watching LG last season, I saw that they lacked an Albano secondary lead. Onuaku had a lot of issues last year in Sono, but with a good teammate, he shouldn’t have any problems. I just need to help Albano and play the secondary leading role. I can do more than that.” I concluded the interview by conveying my confidence.

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