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Highest paid players in the Korean Basktball League (KBL) South Korea 2021

The highest paid basketball player in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) for the 2020/2021 season was Kim Jong-Kyu of DB Promy. The 19/20 KBL season was prematurely canceled for the first time in the league's history due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea. Final standings were based on each team’s winning percentage and there was no champion selected.

Signs of struggles

Basketball is one of the major professional sports in South Korea. Behind the two powerhouses of pro baseball and football, basketball came third among spectated professional sports in South Korea. However, there was a decrease in the number of fans that went to watch KBL matches in recent years. Various rules made by the league had come under scrutiny, such as past rules that restricted the amount of years a foreign player could sign with one team, or a height limit for foreign players. The consequential confusion and inconsistency resulted in fans turning away from the KBL.

Potential fans

A decrease in fans meant a decrease in ticket revenue for KBL teams, which is certainly a cause for concern. Spectators’ answers to a survey about their match-going experience showed that a personal connection to their team was the main driver for their visits. The KBL will have to strengthen such bonds between players and the fans, and work towards making the league a more attractive package to bounce back from their recent decline.

Highest paid players in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) in South Korea for the 20/21 season

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Release date

June 2020


South Korea

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

1,000 South Korean won equals 0.83 U.S. dollars or 0.73 euros (as of July 2020).

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