Scary rebellion of a cute rabbit, Lee Jung-hyun “I want to be the main character in the Year of the Rabbit”

 This year is the year of the ‘Black Rabbit’, the 40th year of the 60th zodiac. In the year of the rabbit, I met Lee Jung-hyun, the most popular rabbit. Lee Jung-hyun runs around the court brightly like a cute rabbit, but he has grown frighteningly steep this season. I heard about the basketball life of Lee Jung-hyun, the year of the rabbit who likes rabbits and eats carrots well.

※This article was published in the January issue of Jump Ball.

In June of last year, I appeared on the ‘Save Me Holmes’ program (MBC) and found a house. Are you living in the house you chose then?
no. I didn’t do that house, but through that house, I found a house I liked more. Since I don’t have a car, I found a place that I could walk as close to my house as possible. It takes just 10 minutes to walk to the gym.

It’s your first trace, but are you interested in decorating your home?
At first, I wasn’t interested in decorating. But since I live alone, I started to get interested in it little by little. It’s satisfying to have my house filled with pretty things, and the fans gave me dolls and picture frames as gifts, so I’m decorating my house with those things.

Do you even cook your own food?
No (laughs). You order it and eat it or eat it out. I want to eat it, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I worry about preparing before eating or cleaning up after eating.

Are there any players who have come home?
Not many, but I did invite a few. Lee Won-seok (Samsung), Kim Han-young (LG), and Ki-sang Yu (Yonsei University) also came. Sometimes, when I’m bored, the kids come. When (Lee) Won-seok was bad, he said “I should have bought something” and “I’ll buy it next time”. But the next time he came, he came empty-handed. It was very disappointing (laughs). It’s only because the 1st rank barrel is this small.

Do you often keep in touch with Lee Won-seok?
Just like last season, I whine about how difficult it is. If Won-seok whines about how difficult it is, I tease him (laughs). I had a roommate for a long time at Yonsei University. So feel free to talk to each other. When our team lost, they contacted us once and teased us. 

I heard that it took a long time to bet (half-line shot) before the game at the beginning of the season?
I often make a half-line long shot. If I lose, I have to buy coffee before the game. But I’m at the bottom of the team. Even coaches do it, but coach Sohn Kyu-wan is really good at it (laughs). At the beginning of the season, I was in last place, so I bought a coffee, but the team did well and won big. After that, I got caught again and bought coffee, but the team won again, so the hyungs said, “You have to buy it.” I haven’t had it since, though.

Who is the player who often comes in last in long throw betting these days?
(Cho) Jin-Han hyung gets sick really often. So I’m a little bit sorry. Away matches are less stressful because there are fewer players, but at home, all the players do their best. I buy not only the players but also the people involved, and even the size is Venti (laughs). I can’t be caught, so I hope the hyungs at the top of the salary can be caught. But (former) Seonghyun hyung is really good. play with us Some of them don’t go in at the beginning, but when the number of people decreases, they throw it in sarcastically.

What’s your game day routine like?
Weekday games start at 7:00, so I wake up slowly and lightly warm up in the morning. After studying the opponent’s pattern or shooting, I eat lunch and rest. I have to sleep for about an hour. Sleep is essential. After sleeping and getting ready, I slowly go to the taping. I always get taped at the end and eat vanilla latte as I go.

Is there any particular reason for having the taping last?
During break time, I use my smartphone for a bit, sleep for about an hour, and then wake up around the time for the taping. As a result, trainer hyungs and seniors sometimes say that I am not a foreign player (laughs).

What is your post-game routine like?
My parents often come to the game. Usually, the game ends around 9 o’clock, so when I take pictures and sign autographs with the fans, it’s almost 10 o’clock. Then, since it is difficult to eat, please let your parents eat at home. It’s comfortable and very nice.

Do you tend to go to bed early?
I go to bed early, but when I do, the time is too precious. So I lay down and watched the video using YouTube’s algorithm, and then I think I fell asleep around 12:30. Then wake up the next day and regret it. Even if I make up my mind to go to bed early, I will sleep later when I see something fun (laughs).

What do you do on your days off?
I also like to watch movies, but it’s been a long time since I haven’t seen them. I like to hang out with friends I am comfortable with. But I can’t be out there for long. (Lee Jung-Hyun’s MBTI is ISTP) I get excited when I’m outside for a long time. After resting as much as possible, it’s about having a light meal and a cup of coffee in the evening.

I know you have a lot of pre-match routines, what are they?
The day before the game, I go to the sauna. My away roommate is Seong-hyeon, but he doesn’t understand. I don’t eat breakfast and wear tights or socks starting from the left. Taping is done from the left, shoes are tied from the left, and shoelaces are tied from the left. I’ve been doing it for a long time, so it’s become a habit.

Do you get a lot of advice from Jeon Seong-hyun when you are roommates on the road?
Seong-hyeon and his older brother take a lot of nutritional supplements, and I should also eat this before the game. Eat this later and take care of it a lot. He and his brother watch a lot of NBA and KBL, and we watch and talk together while snooping around. The two of them watch a program called Late Night Ghost Talk, but I don’t watch it very well. When a scary scene comes out, Seonghyun-hyung is startled. I did the opposite once, but hyung wasn’t surprised (laughs).

Are you greedy for weight training?
I don’t have a lot of greed. Even just a little bit can quickly pump up your body. Still, I think the lower body is important, so I do a lot of lower body exercises. When the strength of the lower body is weak, the game does not work well.

Lee Jeong-hyeon, the ‘fun basketball’ in coach Kim Seung-gi’s whip and carrot,
is growing rapidly under the guidance of coach Kim Seung-gi, who has been appointed to Goyang Carrot this season. Head coach Kim Seung-gi has implemented the ‘Lee Jung-hyun, Top Guard Project’ since the offseason. During the process, the word that did not escape director Kim Seung-gi’s mouth was ‘bad habit’. Director Kim Seung-gi’s words that bad habits must be corrected have only decreased in frequency, but have not disappeared yet. Lee Jung-hyun is aiming to overcome bad habits in his second year as a pro.

What was your first impression after director Kim Seung-gi came to Carrot?
I was looking forward to the season with the coach. I also felt scared, worried about the future. People around me were worried(?), telling me to be nervous.

Manager Kim Seung-gi talks about ‘bad habits’ a lot. How many bad habits did you have during the offseason?
It was 100 out of 100. He picked up a few of them, and basically what you were talking about was the bound pass. Also, he put a lot of emphasis on the steps that fit the defensive defense and the steps when breaking through. He practiced every move in detail in the offseason. 바카라사이트

How many of his bad habits do you think he has fixed?
I do not know. It really comes out like a habit. But now the director doesn’t give me 100 out of 100. Now I am playing the game with awareness little by little. Sometimes I want to miss it.

Was there a transitional period?
There were times when I felt like my play was trapped because I tried not to do it when I was told not to. It was different from what I had done, so my confidence dropped a little. The first two games of this season were like that. Just because you ordered a bound pass didn’t mean that you only had to do a bound pass. But thinking only of the bound pass resulted in mistakes and confusion. Right now, I’m doing my own play and the coach’s order according to the situation.

Did you get a lot of stress every time you got scolded?
Rather than being intimidated by being scolded and immersed in scolding, I try to recognize it and move on. I also think that if I play my game and it doesn’t go well, I don’t have to get scolded again. I have a personality that rarely gets stressed, do you ever get stressed out? I would also like to (laughs).

The average playing time is 34 minutes and 4 seconds, which is 1st in the league. Isn’t it difficult? (As of December 6th)
I think it’s been a long time since I’ve run this much. I didn’t run that much when I was in college. When I was not in shape during the offseason, it was very difficult to play full-time in practice matches. I had to drag my legs. But I didn’t just have to run, I had to defend and throw a shot, so I was more distracted. There were very few games where I threw more than 10 shots in one game. As I kept running while hearing the story, “Keep shooting, even if it’s not a chance, throw it”, at some point I felt my body lifted up a bit. I ran for about 35 minutes during the cup competition, so it wasn’t difficult at all (laughs). My stamina has improved a lot, so long playing time is still okay. It’s always fun and exciting when I play, so I don’t think it’s hard.

Was coach Kim Seung-gi’s stealing basketball fun?
It’s really fun. I like things like stealing, and my favorite play is the fast attack. When I take the ball, the quick attack comes out naturally, and I think it suits me well because the coach emphasizes a lot.

Director Kim Seung-gi said that he was distributing carrots and sticks. How does he feel about himself?
that’s right. At some times, he only scolded me endlessly, and at one time, he was really good at it. I guess it’s time. These days, it’s a time to get scolded (laughs).

Domestic player contribution is 2nd (as of December 6th). It also appears as a record, but what do you think of the changes from last season?
I think it’s ridiculous. The players whose names are side by side are the league’s top guards. When I compare my records and contributions with those guards, it really doesn’t make sense that I’m not behind and that I’m at the top. Compared to other players, I didn’t think my points or assists were particularly outstanding, but sometimes it was amazing and proud when fans informed me of my contribution.

How do you compare yourself to last season and this season?
Last season was a bit difficult. (Lee) Daesung hyung, (Lee) Seunghyeon hyung, and Murphy Holloway were the main players, so I was a role player. There were times when my playing time went back and forth, so my condition was jagged. As a result, there were many times when I couldn’t play confidently, and there were many regrets. I get scolded a lot this season, but even if I go on the bench, I come out right away. Also, I am happiest when I am on the court, so I am enjoying basketball even when it is difficult.

The scoring power (9.7 points → 15.8 points) this season also rose, and there was only one single-digit scoring game (1st round against KGC).
I should have put in two spots in the KGC match, but it was very disappointing. Especially in the 2nd round match, I was shocked because I won by a large score and then lost by turning over. He doesn’t take stress very well, but it was difficult for about two days under stress. The ability to protect me when I’m winning or the power to turn it over in a crisis situation is still lacking, so I think there are times when the team is insecure. Still, since I am experiencing various situations on the court, I believe that things will definitely get better.

How can you run like that when you run with a bright smile on the court?
Being on the court is fun and I don’t think there’s much stress. I think I laugh more when I hear the cheers and cheers of the crowd while doing what I love. I also believe that having fun will lead to better play. As a result, the coach said that even if I made a mistake, I would laugh (laughs). Yesterday (5th), the director asked me to show my anger. He jokingly told me to get angry enough to get a technical foul, but I’m not confident (laughs). They don’t tell you not to laugh, but they tell you to be strong and have a fighting spirit. I think I will become a better player when my personality and the coach’s advice are in harmony.

When you heard the evaluation that you were the weakest before the season, I wonder if you had any questions or thought that you would do well.
If you play practice games in the offseason, you lose everything. I wanted to make a big deal out of it. When I went to Tongyeong for field training, I lost to the 2nd division of the Gas Corporation. However, as Samsung won and SK won in the cup competition, little by little it felt like we were getting along well. In the opening game, we had a big win against DB and got caught up in the end, so we had a tough game, but I think we gained hope from then on. As the thoughts of “this is happening” gradually piled up, the chemistry between the coaching staff and the players got better, and now I think I can do it no matter what team I meet.

Even if you lose, do you ever get the feeling that you won’t lose in the end?
Even if I lose big, I think chances come once or twice. Since we use the 3-point shot as our main option, the mood comes over quickly. That’s why I always look for opportunities. Steel is also perfect for bringing out the atmosphere.

How does it feel to play against the best shooter in the league, Jeon Seong-hyun?
It’s really helpful. Seong-hyun and his older brother don’t have the ball for long, but the ramifications are huge. Seong-hyeon and his brother often say to him that he should take advantage of the twisted situation caused by the gathering of defenders. Now, even if I sing patterns, Seonghyun hyung is really hard to get a chance. So, after recognizing the first option as Seonghyun hyung, I think to look at other options. I get a lot of chances, and it’s a big help to my teammates.

Do you have any wishes for 2023, the Year of the Rabbit?
I hope it will be the year when I am the main character. I think the main character is being able to continue to show the good side of yourself throughout the season. There will be brief ups and downs, but if you stay on the court without major injuries, that’s the main character.

What are your team goals?
You already won 10 of the 20 goals the coach said. We’ve lost a lot of matches, but I believe we’re doing well and moving in a positive direction. At first, the goal was to be the top 6. However, the team is really well matched, so I think that if it is a short match, we will have the strength to win.

Please leave a message for your fans.
I feel that the number of fans has increased this season. The more spectators, the more fun it is to play. In the game against LG (4th), I felt that the atmosphere was getting better as Seong-hyeon hyung made 3-point shots in a row. It was the first time. When we played the semi-final playoffs with SK last season, it felt like the cheers would not be lost as SK turned the game around. We thought it would be nice too, but the fans did it. Even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps. I hope we have more fans. Among the 10 clubs, I think we play the most fun (laughs). I will do my best to have a good game, and I will become a carrot that develops in many ways, such as fan service after the game and entertainment YouTube.

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