You wouldn’t say Patty Mills got a lot of playing time as member of the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, his role was really the “human victory cigar” during the playoffs, only getting minutes in blowout victories and of course, waving his towel relentlessly from the bench. You did get to see a little bit of his talent during the regular season when Coach Pop rested the starters, but aside from that, he mostly rode the bench.
Despite all that, Spurs assistant coach and head coach of the Australian national team, Brett Brown says Mills’ time with the Spurs was invaluable.
“I think it resurrected his career,” Brown said. “He was caught at a cross-roads where he was in between leagues, he was in between teams. To be able to be brought in by such a great franchise like the Spurs and have the opportunity to again be with me … it was a win on everyone’s part.
“The Spurs were fortunate to have him, he was fortunate to have the Spurs and if you put your Boomers hat on, basketball in Australia will reap the benefits of he and I being able to be together. … The relationships he shared with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and other internationals … you can’t put a price tag on that experience.”
Now that the Spurs’ season is over, Mills can start getting ready for the Olympics. I imagine he’ll get a great deal of playing time for Australia this summer and Spurs fans that watch may actually get to see his full potential.
Mills has the option to play with San Antonio next season, so I imagine we’ll see him in a Spurs uniform. His small role with the team could have just been because he joined late and didn’t have enough time to find his way into the system. He certainly has the talent to play in the NBA, so we’ll see if his career continues with the Spurs or he finds a role somewhere else.