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Sotto's G-League situation a unique opportunity says Cone

by Reynald Magallon, May 25, 2020 7:22am

Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone was all in in Kai Sotto's decision to take the G-League route towards the NBA.

The winningest coach in the history of the PBA said Sotto was in a unique situation where he got the chance to further develop with guidance from development-type coaches and in front of much bigger competition in the G-League.

"First of all, let me just say that normally I would encourage everybody to go to college. But there are unique situations, and both Kai and Jalen (Green) are unique in the game of basketball," said Cone during in an interview with NBA Philippine Republika huddle podcast.

"Again, it's really unusual, but more than education, his ability to develop as a basketball player is the priority for him right now. So I think it's a really good idea."

For Cone, what makes the 7'2" wunderkind's NBA opportunity unique from those Filipinos who first tried making it to the NBA was the attention he was having right now.

Something that the likes of Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar never had when they tried their luck in the US.

"The key is: are they going to get playing time? I think that was the problem with Japeth Aguilar when he went to college in the United States. He didn't get the guaranteed playing time that he thought he was going to get, so he didn't get that opportunity to develop," Cone said of Aguilar's stint in the US college teams.

"I think this is good because he's going to the G League, whose whole thrust is just to develop these guys. It's not
about winning, it's not about losing. It's about developing these guys as players," he added.

"They have a lot of development-type coaches in the G-League, and the level of competition they will go against is going to be much higher than it would be if they just went as a freshman in college. I really do think this is a good decision for him."

As for Sotto's skill set, Cone believes he is just right on track on how the game is being played by the current generation of big men.

"He moves well and he has a feathery touch. He's more along the lines of a modern center than if you wanted to be like a Shaq (O'Neal) or Wilt Chamberlain or something like that. He's not that type of player, which is exactly what he should be because that's not the way the game is played now," said Cone.

"It's now evolved, the big men are evolving. They're starting to step out. He has that ability to roll off ball screens and finish at the rim, but he also has the ability to face up and play along the three-point line."

"I think that he's on the right track for the for the kind of game. I think the kind of game that we have now is built for his type of body. So I think that's really good news for him," the champion coach said.

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