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FACT CHECK: Kai Sotto did not sign $2-million contract with Los Angeles Lakers


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FACT CHECK: Kai Sotto did not sign $2-million contract with Los Angeles Lakers
The LA-based sports agency Wasserman has not confirmed the supposed deal. The Filipino basketball star is in Japan and currently playing for the Hiroshima Dragonflies.

Claim: Filipino basketball star Kai Sotto has signed a two-way contract deal worth $2 million to play for the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers, according to the LA-based sports agency Wasserman.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video that posted the claim on October 29 has 7,489 views, 44 comments, and 83 likes as of writing.

In its title, the video claims that the basketball player has signed with an NBA team. A narrator also says: “Nakatanggap na si Kai Sotto ng kontrata sa Lakers, $2 million dollars. Ito hindi na ‘to rumors at lumabas na at inilabas na ng Wasserman ang balita ng pagkakakuha kay Kai Sotto. Congratulations sa ating kababayan na si Kai Sotto.”

(Kai Sotto has received a contract with the Lakers, $2 million. This is no longer a rumor and Wasserman has released the news. Congratulations to our fellow countryman, Kai Sotto.)

The bottom line: There are no reports from reputable sources and news organizations confirming Sotto’s supposed contract signing with the Lakers, even on his official and verified Instagram account. 

Neither has there been an announcement from Sotto’s agency, Wasserman. Its most recent post related to Sotto was on July 13, 2022, when the sports agency posted a photo on its official and verified Instagram account welcoming Sotto to #TeamWass. The LA-based Wasserman also handles NBA stars like Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook.

Sotto’s career: According to his agent Tony Ronzone, Sotto is still playing for the Japan-based basketball team Hiroshima Dragonflies. On September 22, Sotto uploaded photos on his Instagram account wearing the Dragonflies hot red jersey. “Year 3!!,” Sotto said in his post.

Previous false claims: Rappler has already published fact-checks on dubious claims about Sotto’s NBA journey:

 – Owenh Jake Toledo/Rappler.com

Owenh Jake Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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