5 minutes and 20 seconds. It was an extremely insufficient time to show something in the KBL debut game. As soon as he joined Dion Thompson (35, 204cm) in Jeonju KCC, he could not afford to spend much time. But what was expected of Thompson was clear.
KCC took out the last knife to advance to the playoffs in the 2022-2023 season. Ronde Hollis Jefferson, who had a slowdown issue, was expelled and Thompson was recruited. “Jefferson was not sent because of his skill. The attitude towards training was too insincere. He also had a bad influence on domestic players,” explained coach Jeon Chang-jin.
Thompson, who was recruited in place of Jefferson, is a power forward who has been interested in KBL teams for a long time. His own eye level is high, and now he has only come into contact with KBL. Thompson, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, who became famous as the alma mater of Michael Jordan, the real ‘basketball emperor’, failed to advance to the NBA, but has built a career in high-level Euroleagues such as Germany, Turkey, and Lithuania.
The 2022-2023 season was played in Turkiye League Topaz. He averaged 7.9 points, 5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 11 games. I played the game until the 4th, but it was not a situation where I could be given a certain amount of time right away at KCC. This is because KCC is in the middle and lower ranks and cannot afford it, and Thompson also took a break for about 15 days after playing the last game in the Turkiye League.
Prior to the home game against Seoul SK on the 23rd, coach Jeon Chang-jin said of Thompson, “You have to run for about 5 to 10 minutes. After the game on the 4th, I didn’t train until I came to our team. I trained for two days after joining, but I didn’t have a body that could simulate something. I wondered if it would be possible because I have the ability to do it according to my age, but I think it will take a little more time.”메이저놀이터
In real life, Thompson played his KBL debut game against SK, but only played 5 minutes and 20 seconds in the second quarter. His record also went unnoticed. In the process of attempting a mid-range shot, he made both free throws from Leon Williams’ fouls, but otherwise left no mark on the score sheet. Although he helped Jeon Jun-beom break through the screen, the goal margin of KCC with Thompson was -1.
The important thing is the effect it can have on KCC when the adaptation is completed. Thompson’s main route was attacking under the goal in the early days of his professional debut, but as his career progressed, he increased the frequency of his mid-range shots. In the actual game against SK, he not only made a clean free throw, but also showed a smooth shot in practice.
Coach Jeon Chang-jin said of Thompson, “I knew he had a good mid-range shot, so I brought him in, but he was good when I saw him in training. He was also told that he had been getting along well with his co-workers. Of course, the most important thing is to adapt to KBL.” Lee Seung-hyun also left an opinion, saying, “The mobility is not good, but the mid-range shot seemed okay.”
There are foreign players with 1 option, such as Jamil Warney (SK) and Omari Spellman (KGC), who play an average of 30 minutes or more, but KBL is a league in which no foreign player can play full-time throughout the season. Compared to the peak of this season, Laguna of the world also showed a noticeable decrease in physical strength.
For KCC, it is possible to aim for the playoffs only when the extent of the team performance deterioration is not large when Laguna takes a breather for a while. This is the role KCC expects from Thompson. Can Thompson gradually improve his performance and become Laguna’s helper? Along with the timing of Heo Woong’s return, it is one of the checkpoints to keep an eye on in the remaining games of KCC.