SEOUL, South Korea – Speculation of the demise of the Incheon ET Land Elephants has hit the local press, raising concerns of possibly losing a team in the Korean Basketball League.
The Korea Times reported that the club, which was established in 1997 as the Incheon Daewoo Zeus, is for sale by its parent company, ET Land. Lotte and Emart, who are subisidiaries of local retail giant Shinsegae, are considered the top candidates to purchase ET Land, which could spell disaster for the KBL. Shinsegae recently disbanded the Shinsegae Coolcats of the Women's Korean Basketball League, which had been in existence since 1998. With the loss of that team, the women's league is down to five teams, and with the possible loss of ET Land, the men's would be down to nine.
"It would be better to avoid any assumptions about the current situation. Listening to what the team has to say should be the first step, An Jun-ho, director of basketball operations at the KBL," said in a media interview. "And then, we will prepare for whatever comes next."
Incheon ET Land finished sixth in the standings last year with a 26-28 record, but were knocked out of the first round by KT. They have yet to win a championship in their 14-year history.