2 years ago from now. Kang Iseul,메이저놀이터 who appeared in the FA market, was the biggest fish that received a lot of attention even before the market opened. and 2 years later. Iseul Kang once again obtained FA status, and this time, he still drew attention as the biggest player. Kang Isul’s choice this time was to stay, and Kang Isul signed a new 3-year contract with KB Stars.
Two years ago, when Kang Iseul obtained the FA qualification, the market’s interest in him was hot. With the emergence of the league’s best shooter in the FA market, each team’s recruitment battle was hot, and Hana 1Q, which was Kang’s club at the time, also expressed a strong will to catch Kang Isul.
In the midst of such fierce competition, Kang Iseul chose a new challenge. This is Kang Isul, who left Hana 1Q, where he had been involved since his debut, and made a new nest at KB Stars.
Two years later, Iseul Kang obtained FA status again. And still, Kang Iseul was evaluated as the biggest fish. However, the atmosphere of the market was quite different from that time. Since it was Kang Dew Seul who showed a sluggish performance last season and lost his pride, many people expected him to renew his contract with KB in order to recover his shattered pride.
As expected, Kang Iseul’s choice was to renew the contract. It is Kang Yi-seul who agreed with KB on the condition of a total of 350 million won (280 million won in annual salary and 70 million won in allowances) over the 3-year period of his contract.
“Everyone thanked me for saying it was the biggest word, but I think it was a quiet free agent.
“The team failed to advance to the playoffs after 12 years. I thought there was a responsibility there too. I felt like I was running away when I transferred. We signed the contract without difficulty.”
According to Kang Isul’s story, there were no love calls from other teams for Kang Isul in this market. There were opinions from other clubs that it would be polite to talk over a cup of coffee because it is the biggest fish, but the market’s reaction was certainly quite different from two years ago.
“There were many rumors, but there was no actual contact. Also, when talking with KB, they asked us to talk openly about the players’ inconveniences or situations that needed improvement. Having such a conversation itself is the players’ position. I felt that you put a lot of thought into it.”
“Two years ago, it was a time when I felt that I needed to change myself because I was in a situation where I was consistently failing. But this time, I think it was a time when I needed to restore my pride or honor. I didn’t have it, but last season I really couldn’t count it on my hands. It was a season that I regretted and regretted so much. I think those things were different from two years ago.”
By the way… what if there was a strong offer from another team…?
“I thought about myself because I was so bad. ‘Have I become too lazy after working with (Park) Ji-soo for a year? Will I be proud if I go to another team and achieve something on my own?’ These thoughts. However, apart from the presence or absence of Jisoo, those thoughts quickly disappeared because the last season was a season where I was very poor. If an attractive offer came, I would have thought about it, but I think my choice would not have changed.”
As a result, Kang Iseul chose to renew his contract with KB and started to restore his honor. Right after the news of the renewal of the contract was announced, he said that he was also contacted by manager Kim Wan-soo, urging him to join.
“As soon as we signed the contract, the manager heard the news and called right away. He asked when he would join the team. He obviously said that he could come in slowly? more.”
Last season’s slump, which was a shock to everyone,
was 10 wins and 20 losses. This is the report card KB achieved last season. Everyone was shocked by the unexpected downfall of the defending champion. It was a season that no one expected that it would struggle this much, although it was expected that it would struggle to some extent. So I asked straight forward. Last season’s KB, what on earth was the problem?
“Something seems to be going well but it doesn’t, it looks like it will win but it doesn’t win, it looks like it will go but it doesn’t go, so it was a series of mental breakdowns. As a result, the plays that were going well didn’t work. I think that’s why it was a difficult season for everyone, including me.”
The team was also a team, but Kang Isul’s individual sluggishness was also regrettable. Kang I-seul, who recorded an average of 18.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in the first year after moving to KB, was sluggish last season with an average of 15.2 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Above all, Kang’s greatest weapon, the 3-point shot success rate, plummeted to 29.9%, leading to a disappointing season. For reference, it is only in the first two seasons of his debut and the last 2022-2023 season that Iseul Kang recorded a 3-point success rate in the 20% range.
Kang Isul’s last two seasons
2021-2022 season: 18.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. 3-point shot: 42.9%
2022-2023 season: 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists. 3-point shot: 29.9%
“I really don’t know. That season passed as if I was possessed by something. I worried every day about the shot not going in, but it didn’t go in to the extent that I don’t know why. It was really tough mentally after coming out. It was a stressful and difficult season.”
“I hurt my self-esteem a lot. It’s something I’m cautious about, but we have a solid ace named Jisoo in our team. It’s not easy to fill that void. I couldn’t make up for it, and as a result, I think all the evaluations of my players around me fell. I felt like my career of the previous 10 years was gone. The stories around me hurt my pride, but I can’t deny that. I thought I was able to be here because I worked hard on myself, but I felt like those things collapsed at once and I was ignored, so that part was also very difficult.”
Actually, I’m talking about it now, but Iseul Kang’s physical condition was not perfect throughout the season. It is unreasonable to say that these points were all the causes of the sluggishness, but it was a situation that had no choice but to give some degree of impact.
“I was under a lot of stress in the beginning. My stomach hurt rather than my body hurting. At the same time, I had otolithiasis, and I had body aches, but it didn’t get better for over a month even after receiving intravenous injections. I got hurt and then I injured my ankle. To be honest, at that time it was so hard that it wasn’t good enough to make me want to use these things as an excuse. I wonder if it would have gotten a little better without those things, but in the end, I think that part was also a problem in my heart. “
One of the biggest reasons KB struggled this far was the absence of Park Ji-soo. Park Ji-soo, who was diagnosed with panic disorder ahead of the season, faced a crisis when he left, and eventually could not overcome it.
I saw hope when Park Ji-soo returned in the middle of the season, but it is KB that fell again after Park Ji-soo left due to a finger injury. KB, which recorded 6 wins and 3 losses in 9 games in which Park Ji-soo played, collapsed with 4 wins and 17 losses in 21 games in which Park Ji-soo was absent. Director Kim Wan-soo showed confidence at Media Day ahead of the opening, saying, “I will prove that it was not Park Ji-soo’s umbrella effect.”
“I was burdened because the part Jisoo did was so big. Still, I thought that if the rest of the players worked together, I could make up for it to some extent, so I worked hard to prepare for the season. But I think the first button was wrong. Opening match against Shinhan Bank. I lost the game I was winning in the 2nd overtime, but that game was a big hit. The players’ confidence fell and I don’t think it recovered well. This time, Jisoo recovered a lot, so I’m preparing hard, but in fact, I’m going to make a full comeback this year. I can’t guarantee that I can. That’s why I think it’s important not to rely on Jisoo. In particular, I think I should prepare better.”
“It wasn’t bad even when we went to Busan for field training ahead of the season. So it was a situation where confidence increased. Big. In a way, I think the biggest responsibility for the team’s poor performance lies with me. When Jisoo falls out, I should have played that role, but I didn’t, and I think the whole team was shaken because of that. It’s so sad and I regret it myself. “
If so, what kind of season will last season be remembered for Kang Iseul?
“I really try not to underestimate my own value too much. I try to give a lot of compliments. But when I look back on last season, there is absolutely nothing to praise. I think it was a season where everything was really messed up.”
This off-season, I put 100% into it.
As the story from last season continues, somehow the atmosphere becomes more and more solemn. So I changed the subject of the interview to a rather light story. Iseul Kang, who unintentionally started the off-season somewhat early. How did you spend your vacation?
“First of all, I personally am building my body while recovering the parts that were not good last season. Actually, I took a good rest during the first part of the vacation. This time, I really have to wake up and work hard.” (Laughter)
The next season is an important season for both the KB team and Kang Yi-seul to restore their honor. Of course, the motivation for this off-season is bound to be different.
“People around me always tell me that I am a talented person with a good sense of shooting. Even if I think about it myself, I’m not the type to work hard like (Park) Hyejin unnie, to be honest. (Laughs) I said, “I’ll do my best! I’m going to do my best to prepare. My mindset has changed a lot. I’m thinking of pouring 100% into this off-season to prepare. What kind of results will come if I put in 100% of my effort?” I’m curious about myself.”
It is Kang Isul who recently opened her own personal YouTube channel as well. The channel name is ‘Kangi Three Point’. She offered a chance (?) to promote her own YouTube.
“My older brother works in this field, but my younger brother said he was a player, so I kept begging him to join me. But I kept saying no. I got scolded… (laughs). So I worked hard during this vacation. Everyone, please like, comment, subscribe, and turn on notifications~~!”
Among the videos that have been uploaded so far, I asked myself to pick the one that I thought was the most fun.
“There’s a video of the national team leaving the country. It’s a bit crazy(?) video.”
As a result of checking the video immediately after hearing this story, I was definitely not in a sane state as Kang Iseul stated. If you are curious about the video, check it out on the ‘Kangi Three Point’ channel!
Finally, we ended the interview by asking Isul Kang to say hello to her fans.
“Last year, it was a season that disappointed us as well as the fans, but a lot of fans came to visit us even though the results were not good. I will work hard to achieve good results, so please visit the stadium and cheer for me~~!