Former NBA player Jeremy Lin gave Kai Sotto and other up-and-coming athletes some solid advice after they went undrafted last week.
Speaking to ESPN on Thursday, Lin, 33, said he is rooting for the 20-year-old Filipino athlete after spending some time with him during NBA’s G League Ignite.
“I’ve met Kai, I’ve played against Kai, I’ve played with Kai. During the G League Ignite, I spent a couple of days with them so I’m rooting for him too,” the former NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors said.
“At the same time, maybe I’m biased but I just don’t feel like draft night is like… because there’s so many people that get drafted and fall out,” Lin continued. “And then there’s so many people don’t [sic] get drafted and then fall in. To me, it’s a benchmark for where you are today but it’s not at all an indicator of where you will be down the road.”
Sotto, who is officially listed at 7 feet and 2 inches in height, had to press pause on his dream of joining the NBA after going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday.
The young athlete had previously worked out with several NBA teams before draft night, including the New York Knicks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls, the latter of which had reportedly expressed interest in the Filipino rookie.
The Las Piñas native still has a shot at receiving an invite for the 2022 NBA Summer League, where he could get either a training camp deal or a two-way contract if he performs well. This year’s Summer League will begin on July 7.
Lin, who now plays for the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association, went undrafted in 2010. Despite this, he managed to eventually join several NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets, the Atlanta Hawks and the Toronto Raptors.
“If they get drafted, I think every player – including Kai – needs to understand that, ‘OK, a team believes in me but I need to continue to work so that I can really earn their trust and be here long term,’” Lin, who recently opened a basketball school in Toronto, was quoted as saying. “And if he doesn’t get drafted, I would also say ‘hey, it’s OK.’ Because you know who you are as a player and maybe if you just continue to show them, over time you will find a home.”
“The biggest thing is draft night is just one snapshot in a very long film,” Lin added. “And I just hope that he continues to believe in himself, stay confident, keep working hard and just trust that, ‘as long as I stay consistent, I will find a home.’”