NBA Summer League

Regardless of play time, Kai Sotto takes NBA Summer League experience in stride

JR Isaga

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Regardless of play time, Kai Sotto takes NBA Summer League experience in stride

HOPEFUL. Kai Sotto in practice for the Orlando Magic Summer League team.

Orlando Magic Facebook page

Orlando Magic Summer League recruit Kai Sotto keeps a positive mindset and stays receptive to the NBA experience despite a widely criticized lack of playing time

MANILA, Philippines – For two straight games in the 2023 NBA Summer League, the Orlando Magic have nailed to the bench Filipino hopeful Kai Sotto as they suffered consecutive defeats to the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers.

Sotto’s fans both online and onsite have been vocal about their displeasure on the lack of opportunities so far, but the man himself is not minding the noise, as he always had throughout his career.

“I’m just trying to show my coaches that I’m a good teammate, I’m a good player,” he said in a recent interview with the NBA. “I’ll be ready whenever they call my name. I’ll be a positive guy on the corner, on the bench.”

Sotto, so far, has had tough competition for minutes in the 21-man Magic roster, with majority of big man playing time going to NBA veteran DJ Wilson.

On Monday, July 10 (Tuesday, July 11, Manila time) against the Pacers, 10 Magic players didn’t leave the bench as Summer League head coach Dylan Murphy practically stuck to a 9-man rotation.

Whether or not Sotto gets any meaningful playing time in Orlando’s two remaining games, the 7-foot-3 titan is just happy with the valuable experience he’s getting from his elite teammates and coaches.

“I’m just like a sponge, just trying to learn from everybody, from all the things that’s happening to us,” Sotto said. “It’s my first time in the Summer League and everything is pretty new, so I find everything to be quite cool.”

“I feel like everywhere I go, I represent the Philippines, so I just have to be aware of my actions,” he continued. “Here in the Summer League, I just got to put in the work and stay ready when the coach calls my name.” –

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