Patty Mills made Australian sporting history by helping his team, the San Antonio Spurs, defeat the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs now have five championships under their belt since their first win in 1999.
Mills, 25, an indigenous Australian, showed off his skills in the second half of the game to help the Spurs win the championship with a score of 104-87. In the third quarter, Mills was on fire. He scored 14 points which included making four baskets from three-point range.
Overall, Mills was able to score 17 points in only 18 minutes of play on the court. He was also added two assists and a rebound to help the Spurs defeat the Heat.
After the game, Mills talked to reporters and said, “The support has been great all year.”
He also addressed the fans, saying, “You’re part of this win, as much as anyone. I can’t tell you how nice and genuine the people of San Antonio are compared to anyone else, it reminds me a lot of Australia. This one is for you [the fans] and thanks for all your support.”
Other Australians that have won NBA championships include Luc Longley (Chicago Bulls), Andrew Gaze (San Antonio) and his Spurs teammate Aron Baynes. Mills, however, is the first indigenous Australian to win an NBA championship -- his mother is Aboriginal and his father is a Torres Strait Islander.
His outstanding performance in the finals may now lead to greater opportunities in the league. Last year, he played just 13 minutes in the NBA finals. After last year’s season, Mills went as far as to hire a personal chef to help improve his nutrition and give him an edge on the court.
Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs’ head coach said, “His energy has been important all season long. That energy, that team sense he has, has become infectious for everyone.”
Now that Mills is off contract, he can expect more profitable offers during the off-season given his exemplary performance in the 2013 to 2014 season.
Image via Wikimedia Commons