David Simon is being kicked out of the Korean Basketball League because he’s too tall.
The KBL has decided that two metres or 6ft 6in is the league’s new height limit for foreign players. David Simon stands 6ft 7in or 2.03m tall.
Each team is allowed two foreign players. Under the new rule, one player should not be taller than two metres and the other must be no taller than 1.86 metres.
The rule is expected to affect other American KBL players, including Simon who plays as a centre for Anyang KGC, and Rod Benson of the Wonju Dongbu Promy (206.7 centimeters), while it looks like Charles Rhodes of Jeonju KCC has made the cut after he measured in at 199.2cms
Charles Rhodes (@officialcrhodes) knelt on the floor to give thanks to God after a new physical exam showed that he is 199.2cm, a permissible height to play next season in Korean Basketball League following the KBL's decision to limit foreign players' height to 2 meters. pic.twitter.com/sl0VBuJfqi
— Borislav Djilas (@eclectic_stance) April 7, 2018
Once considered an advantage in the pursuit of a basketball career – as immortalised in Skee-Lo’s 1995 classic ‘I Wish’ which starts with the line “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller” – it seems that a number of players in the KBL will have to find a new place to ply their trade.
Simon, who made his KBL debut in 2010, is one of its best players, was No. 1 scorer with an average 25.68 points per game in the 2017-2018 season, the 35-year-old has played in Bulgaria, France and Korea.
The new season will begin in October when the changes are planned to come into force.
The policy is aimed at shifting focus towards smaller, more skillful players as stated by KBL Commissioner Kim Young-il, who said KBL games had become dull in recent years because teams relied too much on tall, strong players.
It is a desperate attempt to boost plummeting popularity of the sport in Korea.
The rule does not apply to Korean athletes, however so the league’s tallest player is Ha Seung-jin of Jeonju KCC, who stands 2.21m.