Decisions, decisions, decisions.
The upcoming London Olympics proves to be a critical moment in Patty Mill’s basketball career.
In the just completed NBA season, Mills finally landed in a team that suits his run and gun and high-octane offensive play. The San Antonio Spurs was the perfect fit at this stage of his development as both a player and a professional. Australian Boomers’ Coach and Assistant Coach for the San Antonio Spurs Brett Brown, spoke publicly about the progression of Mills both on and off the court recently. In the eyes of Brown, Mills has greatly matured and become more professional and consistent performer.
The San Antonio Spurs is arguably the best run sporting franchise in all American sports. The Spurs organisation is a no-nonsense and highly successful basketball club. From the coach to their Hall of Famer, Tim Duncan, the Spurs continually preach about the idea of “getting over yourself” and “putting the team before the individual.” In an Australian sporting landscape, the idea of “team” is not new and not difficult to embrace. However, in the US, making a bunch of super talented individuals embrace a team first mentality is difficult to achieve. The Spurs have led the way in this area for the last 15 years, while winning four championships.
Mills spoke candidly over the last few weeks about the invaluable lessons he learnt from Hall of Famers in San Antonio.
Any observer or supporter of Mills would notice a change of mentality in him. He took advantage of the playing time he was given in a championship calibre NBA team. He knocked down shots, played committed defence and accepted his role on the team. Coach Popovich was quoted of calling him “tough” when Mills first arrived in San Antonio. Coach Pop is a no thrills coach who doesn’t use the word “tough” without meaning it.
These upcoming Olympics is a chance for him to press his claim as more than just a towel-waving teammate. If Mills can lead the Australian team through a strong campaign, he might just push his value higher in the eyes of NBA scouts.
Australians know what Patty is capable of and it’s time the world know it to.