Las Vegas Rumors
While at Team USA Camp in Las Vegas, an interview with Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins was interrupted by another player. Probably the only player who could slap Cousins upside the head and not immediately get a fist to the face, teammate Rudy Gay.
The Korean Basketball League, or K.B.L., essentially relocates to Las Vegas every July when dozens of officials — executives, coaches and scouts from each of the league’s 10 teams — descend en masse for an invitation-only tryout, held this year at the high school, followed by an import draft, which this year was held Tuesday in a grand ballroom at the Palms Casino Resort. “The American players are a lot different from the Korean players,” said S. J. Kimm, the chief operating officer for the Seoul Samsung Thunders. “Their whole style of play is different. We’re trying to supplement what we don’t have.”
They will do this because the 20 jobs that will be filled in the two-round draft are as good as any in international basketball, with $20,000 to $30,000 a month salaries paid regularly in American dollars, tax free. And that is worth watching a wooden box shaped like an octagon spin on a Rolodex stand. The box stopped spinning. A marble dropped out. One of the sober men in the sober suits picked it up and pinched it between his thumb and forefinger. “Blue,” he said. The Seoul Samsung Thunders had won the first pick. “It’s a ridiculous process but this is what they do,” said Rod Benson a 30-year-old forward who played in college at the University of California said as he stood in lobby outside the grand ballroom.