Kim Joon-il (32, 202 cm) received trade secrets from Lee Jae-do, the first pupil of the twin directors.
KBL announced on the 22nd that Ulsan Hyundai Mobis signed a contract with FA (free agent) Kim Jun-il. He revealed that the contract period is 4 years and that he signed a contract with a salary of 450 million won (annual salary of 315 million won and an incentive of 135 million won).
Kim Joon-il, who joined Seoul Samsung with the 2nd pick in the 1st round in the 2014 KBL Domestic Rookie Draft, played as the main axis of the team for 6 seasons. Afterwards, he went to Changwon LG through a trade in 2021. He took his first step at LG in the 2021-2022 season, but had to undergo surgery due to a ruptured Achilles tendon in his first game. He had to give up one season just like that.
The desperate Kim Joon-il recorded an average of 15 minutes and 35 seconds, 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 51 games last season. In particular, he was often used on the bench with Dante Cunningham in LG’s unconventional basketball 2-unit system. It was characterized by quick basketball that made use of speed, so the opposing team had no choice but to respond slowly. In this way, Kim Jun-il successfully returned.
Kim Jun-il said, “It was my first free agency, so there were so many things I didn’t know what to do. His first season at LG was cut short due to his injury, and he played last season, but since he was in Changwon for two years, he was actually considering staying. During the process, he really actively contacted me from Hyundai Mobis,” he explained about the transfer.
“Thankfully, all the coaches called me, and coach Dong-Hyun Cho also contacted me. I’m not a great player, but at the first meeting, he gave me good conditions. Also, he waited for me almost the entire day. I’m not the type to judge myself, and my family and my future wife agreed, so I was able to sign the contract. As a joke, ‘you will see more of your co-workers than yourself, so I respect whatever choice you make. He cheered me on, saying, “I just need to retire and do well.”
For Kim Jun-il, who was clumsy and nervous because it was his first free agency, Hyundai Mobis showed faith by waiting.
Kim Joon-il said, “I don’t speak well and I have a shy personality. Since he is the first free agent, he was a bit crouched in the negotiation process. He said, ‘It’s okay to straighten your shoulders and be proud. We met because we wanted you, so you can sit with confidence.” Thank you very much,” he said.
When asked what kind of conversation he had with manager Jo Dong-hyun, he said, “I have been watching him play since he was a rookie, and even if there are (Ham) Ji-hoon hyung, (Jang) Jae-seok hyung, and (Kim) Hyun-min hyung, they said they needed each other, saying they had different styles. Last season, I think I played as a sixth man, but he also recognized the difficulties of a sixth man who had to show high efficiency in a short time. He wanted me to act as a middle bridge while giving these stories and advice to his juniors.”
For Kim Joon-il, his last season was the most memorable season in his basketball career. LG divided into two units and created two colors of basketball in one team. It was a different experience, and I was a starting player before, but I learned a lot because I digested one season as the sixth man.
Kim Jun-il became the second disciple of the twin command tower following Lee Jae-do. When asked if he would be able to distinguish the two directors, he said, “Director Jo Dong-hyun wears glasses. (Lee) Jae-do hyung asked himself because he was the number 1 disciple. Jaedo hyung was proud of being the No. 1 player, and he thought that he would be No. 2, but he said he was happy to be me. The advice was well received. However, he laughed, saying, “I will keep it as a trade secret between Jae-do hyung and me.”
Lastly, Kim Jun-il expressed his apologies, 스포츠토토 saying that he was not able to reciprocate the love he received from LG because of his timid personality, and shouted, “Thank you for your interest”, saying that he would try to get closer to his fans in the future.