While the professional basketball free agency market has been one of the most hotly anticipated in recent memory with a series of big-name moves, there is one team that has been plagued by negativity beneath the surface. Daegu Korea Gas Corporation.
The KOGAS, a state-owned company, has recently embarked on a major cost-cutting spree, as its debt has risen sharply in the past year, leaving it with a deficit of several trillion won. The team decided to cut its operating expenses by 20 percent compared to last season.
Prior to this, the basketball team itself was preparing for a major reorganization. Specifically, the team is looking to shake up its leadership, including the president, general manager, and coaching staff.
While the club’s management has repeatedly said that “nothing has been decided yet,” some personnel changes are reportedly inevitable.
GAS acquired Incheon E-Land under former president Chae Hee-bong and reopened with Daegu as its new home. The team reached the playoffs with a sixth-place finish in the 2021-2022 season before slipping to ninth last season.
Before the start of the season, the team tried to bolster its strength by acquiring national guard Lee Dae-sung for 600 million won in cash, but the team’s ranking dropped, and the untidy team atmosphere leaked outward.
At the same time, there were more people in the basketball world who were uncomfortable with the suspicious appointment than with GAS’s poor performance.
In November 2021, the first year of its ownership, GASCO hired Shin Shin-woo, the former president of the Korean Women’s Basketball League (WKBL), as general manager.
He was in charge when the world of women’s basketball was rocked by the revelation in June 2016 that foreign player Chelsea Lee, who was seeking naturalization, had falsified her birth certificate. She served out her term with no accountability or consequences. Since then, she has been regarded as a de facto exile from the sport.
GAS has not made any public announcements since the appointment. It was announced through media reports.
Last year, they hired former KU head coach Lee Min-hyung in an open recruitment process.
There are suspicions that academic connections played a strong role in their hiring process. Chae, Lee, Shin, and Yoo are all high school alumni. Chae and Lee are classmates.
The open recruitment for the position was held about a month and a half before the president’s term expired, and General Manager Shin and Director Yoo participated in the screening and interviews.
At the time, a GASCO official said, “The general manager and director participated because they are professionals. GASCO is a public company. The recruitment process is very transparent.” However, few people were convinced.
One basketball insider said, “The fact that they created a position that didn’t exist, appointed a general manager, and didn’t inform the outside world about it is because they have no integrity.”
“I lost hope of getting the job after seeing the interviewer,” said one person who applied for the job with him.
Yoo reportedly earns the highest salary among the 10 managers. The head coach and general manager also earn huge salaries. Outsiders are looking at this with the eyes of ‘privatization of a basketball team of a certain academic background’.
There are still various stories such as ‘Coach Yoo Yoo-hoon has decided to stay for another season’ and ‘The team will be coached by Kang Hyuk’.안전놀이터
The indecisiveness of the GAS Corporation is also criticized. It is reported that they want to part ways with the players but are unable to make a decision due to the cost of terminating their contracts. It is common for the company to pay all or part of a player’s remaining salary if he fails to fulfill his contract and gives notice of his departure.
In the end, the players and fans are left out of the equation, giving the impression that they’re playing a game of chicken.
Once the free agency market ends in May, teams will begin to register and train in earnest in June. It will be interesting to see what Gazprom decides to do during this process.