Kai Sotto's game can be developed and be similar to the way Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic handles the ball.
The 7’0” Jokic is the role model that NBA G League coach Brian Shaw has for the 7’2” Sotto.
“He can play with his back to the basket, as well as facing the basket, and facilitate for his teammates,” said Shaw yesterday following an online meet-and-greet that was organized by NBA Philippines.
Also known as "The Joker", Jokić is the 41st
overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. He has been with the franchise for the last five years.
The 54-year-old Shaw said he has not had much chance to go into a huddle with the NBA G League selection and Sotto following protocols imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus.
But, he was able to get a glimpse of Sotto's game from afar. Shaw believes that he will soon be playing like Jokic as he gets stronger in his game.
“He can be a facilitator where you can put him on top of the floor, give him the ball and let him dribble down (the court). Just like how Jokic does,” said Shaw.
The 66” Shaw is a former Los Angeles Lakers associate mentor. He speaks with nearly 30 years of experience as a player in the NBA and as a coach
Shaw, who will handle NBA G League Team for Elite Prospects, said he is also excited at the chance to mold the game of Jalen Green, an 18-year-old standout who is the NBA's top rookie prospect next season.
The Elite squad will also have two other promising players like Daishen Nix, Isaiah Todd, and Congo-born Jonathan Kuminga.
Shaw, along with Green and retired cager Glen Rice will participate in the first NBA Republika Playoffs Party on August 17.
The NBA Republika Playoffs Party will be livestreamed beginning 8 p.m. PHT on the NBA Philippines Facebook page.
The virtual event will feature a combination of authentic NBA entertainment, interactive elements, and interviews with Rice, Shaw and Philippine basketball personalities.
Before joining the NBA G League, Shaw served as head coach of the Denver Nuggets for two seasons from 2013-15.
He also held the position of associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers for two seasons (2011-13) and the Los Angeles Lakers for three seasons (2016-19).
He began his coaching career with a seven-year stint as a Lakers assistant from 2004-11.
Shaw was part of the coaching staff when the Lakers won NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 and when the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013.