Patrick Sammy Mills (born 11 August 1988) is an Australian professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Mills was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft after playing two years of college basketball for Saint Mary's. Born and raised in Canberra, Mills is of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Australian descent. In 2007, he became only the third indigenous basketball player to play for Australia behind Olympians Michael Ah Matt (1964) and Danny Morseu (1980–84).
Mills with the Spurs in February 2014
|No. 8 – San Antonio Spurs|
|Born||11 August 1988|
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|High school||Marist College|
|College||Saint Mary's (2007–2009)|
|NBA draft||2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 55th overall|
|Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers|
|2009–2011||Portland Trail Blazers|
|2011–2012||Xinjiang Flying Tigers|
|2012–present||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Mills began his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010. In 2011, during the NBA lockout, Mills returned to Australia to play for the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League (NBL). After playing in China with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, Mills returned to the United States in March 2012 and signed with the San Antonio Spurs, where he has remained ever since. Mills became a strong contributor off the bench and helped the Spurs win the 2014 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat.
Mills is a regular member of the Australian national team, the Boomers.
Early life and careerEdit
Mills was born in the Australian capital city of Canberra. Mills' father, Benny, is a Torres Strait Islander, and his mother, Yvonne, is an Aboriginal Australian. His mother was a victim of the Stolen Generations – one of the darkest chapters of Australian history, with the forced removal of many Indigenous children from their families from the earliest days of European settlement until the 1960s.
Mills first took up basketball as a four-year-old for a local Indigenous club his parents established called "The Shadows". Growing up, he was the ball boy for the Canberra Cannons of the National Basketball League (NBL). Mills' future coach at Saint Mary's, David Patrick, played for the Cannons during that time and developed a relationship with the Mills family.
As well as playing basketball, Mills also played underage Australian rules football at a high level. In 2004, Mills was competing for the Australian Capital Territory in the national schoolboys Australian rules tournament in Perth when a recruiter for the Sydney Swans asked him if he'd like to come to Sydney and play in the Australian Football League (AFL). Mills briefly thought about taking up the Swans scholarship before rejecting it to concentrate on basketball. In 2005, he made a strong impression at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival, an event considered to be a showcase for future elite sporting talents.
In January 2006, Mills was awarded the prestigious RE Staunton Medal at the U20 Nationals in Perth and also attended the Australian Junior Camp in his home town of Canberra at the beginning of 2006. As a member of the 2006 Junior National Men's Team, Mills helped Australia defeat New Zealand and qualify for the 2007 Junior Men's World Championships. In April, Mills was a member of the World Junior Select Team that competed against the United States in the Nike Hoop Summit.
Mills was named the 2006 SEABL U/21 Australian Youth Player of the Year. Mills averaged 18.1 points and 3.9 rebounds and helped the AIS to a 16–10 regular season record. He finished the season third in assists in the SEABL, averaging 4.37 per game.
Also in 2006, Mills was the youngest athlete selected in the 22-man extended Australian Boomers squad ahead of the 2006 FIBA World Championship. In July, he was named the 2006 Junior Male Player of the Year at Basketball Australia's annual Junior Basketball Awards. Mills was named the "most promising new sports talent" at the 2006 Deadlys Awards. The Deadlys Awards honor Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders achievements in sports, music, entertainment and community. In addition to receiving the Deadlys Award, Mills was named the 2006 Australia Basketball Player of the Year and the National Sportsperson of the Year by the NAIDOC.
In November 2006, Mills signed to play college basketball for Saint Mary's College of California beginning in the 2007–08 season. He joined fellow Australians Lucas Walker and Carlin Hughes on the Gaels for the 2007–08 season.
Mills was named the WCC Newcomer of the Year and earned All-WCC First Team honours after helping the Gaels earn a top 25 ranking for the first time since the 1988–89 season. He started all 32 games for the Gaels as a freshman, posting a team-high 14.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals in 32.1 minutes. He set a Saint Mary's freshman record for points in a season with 472, and set the school freshman mark for points in a game with a 37-point performance against Oregon on 20 November 2007. He was also a three-time WCC Player of the Week honouree (16 November, 24 December and 19 February).
As a sophomore in 2008–09, Mills averaged 18.4 points, 3.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 32.1 minutes and was named WCC Player of the Week twice (24 November and 8 December). He was subsequently named All-WCC First Team for a second straight year.
Portland Trail Blazers (2009–2011)Edit
On 9 July 2009, Mills fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during practice and was subsequently ruled out of the NBA Summer League. On 16 October 2009, he signed a contract with the Trail Blazers. After completing rehabilitation, Mills was assigned to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League on 29 December 2009.
On 4 January 2010, Mills was called up to the NBA by the Trail Blazers. Mills made his NBA debut that night. He was reassigned to the Stampede on 13 January before being recalled again on 23 January. Mills appeared in 10 games with the Trail Blazers during his rookie season, averaging 2.6 points in 3.8 minutes. He scored a season-high 11 points in Portland's regular-season finale on 14 April against the Golden State Warriors. He also appeared in three playoff games for the Trail Blazers.
In 2010–11, Mills played in 64 games for the Trail Blazers, averaging 5.5 points and 1.7 assists in 12.2 minutes. He scored in double figures 10 times and posted what was a career-best 23 points in Portland's regular-season finale on 13 April against Golden State. He also appeared in two playoff games for the Trail Blazers.
During the 2010–11 season, the "3 Goggles" trend became popular in the NBA, whereby players fit themselves with "A-OK" hand-gesture goggles after they make a three-point basket during a game. Mills and teammate Rudy Fernández are credited with having started the trend. Mills and his teammates would poke fun at Fernández's struggles from beyond the three-point line, indicating he couldn't see very well. So when Fernandez started sinking three-point shots, they would make goggles with their hands over their eyes in tribute to his skill. From Fernández's perspective, when he started to make three-point shots, he would make the goggle gesture to show Mills his vision was OK. T-shirts with the gesture were printed and popularly sold in Portland.
2011 NBA lockoutEdit
Due to the 2011 NBA lockout, Mills returned to Australia to play in the National Basketball League (NBL). On 29 August 2011, he signed with the Melbourne Tigers for the 2011–12 season, after reportedly turning down lucrative offers from a number of European teams. In the Tigers' season opener on 7 October 2011, Mills scored a game-high 28 points in an 82–76 win over the Sydney Kings. His NBL stint was short lived, as he was released by the Tigers on 20 November after he received an offer of about $1 million from Chinese team Xinjiang Flying Tigers. In nine games for Melbourne, he averaged 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
On 4 January 2012, Mills was released by Xinjiang after being out for 10 days with a hamstring injury. With the NBA lockout ending on 8 December 2011, Mills wanted to return to the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Chinese Basketball Association could not guarantee that he would receive FIBA clearance until March. Reports later surfaced that Mills was sacked by Xinjiang for allegedly faking the hamstring injury. In 12 games for Xinjiang, he averaged 26.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
San Antonio Spurs (2012–present)Edit
On 27 March 2012, Mills signed with the San Antonio Spurs. On 26 April 2012, Mills set career highs with 34 points and 12 assists for his first NBA double-double in a 107–101 win over the Golden State Warriors. Mills posted the highest single-game score by an Australian in the NBA, surpassing Andrew Bogut's 32 points in January 2010.
On 13 July 2012, Mills re-signed with the Spurs. In the Spurs' second last game of the regular season on 15 April 2013, Mills scored a season-high 23 points in a 116–106 loss to Golden State. The Spurs went on to reach the 2013 NBA Finals, where they lost in seven games to the Miami Heat. Mills missed the final four games of the NBA Finals with an abscess removal on his right foot.
On 24 June 2013, Mills exercised his player option to return to the Spurs for the 2013–14 season. During the offseason, Mills lost weight and dropped his body fat. Mills appeared in a team-high 81 games, including two starts, averaging 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in a career-high 18.9 minutes. He logged 1,527 minutes in 2013–14 after totaling 1,737 minutes in his previous four seasons combined. Mills helped the Spurs return to the NBA Finals in 2014, where they again faced the Miami Heat. In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Mills scored 14 of his 17 points in the third quarter to help lift the Spurs to a 104–87 series-clinching win.
On 4 August 2017, Mills re-signed with the Spurs on a four-year, $50 million contract. On 4 December 2017, in a 96–93 win over the Detroit Pistons, Mills joined Manu Ginóbili and Matt Bonner as the only reserves in franchise history to make 500 3-pointers. On 18 December 2017, in a 109–91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Mills joined Ginóbili and Malik Rose as the only Spurs in franchise history to score 3,000 points off the bench. On 25 February 2018 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mills climbed into fourth all-time on the Spurs' 3-pointers made list.
In March 2019, Mills became the only Spurs player with 120-plus 3-pointers in five seasons.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Mills won an NBA Championship|
National team careerEdit
In 2007, Mills made his senior national team debut for the Boomers at the FIBA Oceania Championship. The following year, he played for Australia at the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament and represented his country at the Beijing Olympics, where he averaged 14.2 points per game.
Mills went on to play for Australia at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship, before once again representing his country at the 2012 London Olympics. At the 2012 Olympics, Mills had the highest scoring average with 21.2 points per game, ahead of Kevin Durant of the United States, who averaged 19.5 points per game.
In 2013, Mills played for Australia at the FIBA Oceania Championship. Two years later, he played at the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship. In 2016, he helped the Boomers finish fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
|Tournament||Points per game||Rebounds per game||Assists per game|
|2007 U19 World Cup||14.9||2.8||4.6|
|2007 FIBA Ociania||10.3||1.7||1.3|
|2008 FIBA Diamond Ball||5.3||0.7||0.3|
|2008 Olympic Games||14.2||2.2||2|
|2010 FIBA World Cup||13.8||1.7||4.2|
|2011 London Invitational||17||1.3||2|
|2011 FIBA Oceania||14.3||2.7||3.7|
|2012 Olympic Games||21.2||4.5||2.2|
|2013 FIBA Oceania||20.5||3.5||2|
|2015 FIBA Oceania||13||4.5||4|
|2016 Olympic Games||21.3||1.6||1.7|
Mills is the only child of Benny and Yvonne Mills. His uncle is former Olympian basketballer Danny Morseu. He is the cousin of rugby league player Edrick Lee and fellow basketball player Nathan Jawai.
Mills met long-time girlfriend Alyssa Levesque, who was also a college basketball player, while they were both attending Saint Mary's College of California.
In 2011, Mills started the charity project "Assist Australia" following Queensland's floods in March 2010 and in December 2010 to January 2011. His first charity work came in 2010, helping raise over $40,000 for the first flood relief.
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- Freeman, Eric (22 February 2011). "Patty Mills talks about his controversial heritage". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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- Malone, Frances (7 December 2006). "Patrick Mills is standing tall". Basketball.net.au. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007.
- Pashelka, Curtis (24 November 2007). "Aussies could outnumber Americans at SMC game". eastbaytimes.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Dean, Sarah (16 June 2014). "'Whatever he did he was brilliant at': Patty Mills' former PE teacher hails Australia's first indigenous NBA champion". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Tuxworth, Jon (27 June 2014). "Dante Exum's Lake Ginninderra College teammates insist their mate is 'just like one of us'". SMH.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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- Morrissey, Tim (14 November 2008). "Mills nearly a Swan". FoxSports.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Mills caps off big week with BA junior award". Basketball.net.au. 12 July 2007. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007.
- "US too powerful for World in Hoop Summit". Basketball.net.au. 9 April 2006. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006.
- "MEN'S BASKETBALL INKS PATRICK MILLS DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD". smcgaels.com. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "WCC ANNOUNCES 2008 MEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS". wccsports.com. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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- "Blazers draft pick Mills breaks foot". ESPN.com. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Trail Blazers Sign Patrick Mills". NBA.com. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
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- "PATRICK MILLS RECALLED BY TRAILBLAZERS; JOINS NBA TEAM IMMEDIATELY". smcgaels.com. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Gordon, Kaman lead Clippers past depleted Blazers". NBA.com. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "09-10 Transactions". NBA.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills 2009-10 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills 2010-11 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Wolfley, Bob (11 April 2011). "3 Goggles become basketball fashion". jsonline.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "The crazy world of Australian NBA star Patty Mills". HeraldSun.com.au. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Calkins, Matt (24 December 2010). "'3 Goggles' are the rage in Portland". columbian.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "Tigers sign NBA star Boomer Patty Mills". SMH.com.au. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Mills leads Tigers past Kings". ABC.net.au. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Bernard, Grantley (20 November 2011). "Melbourne Tigers release Patty Mills after massive offer from Chinese club Xinjiang Flying Tigers". HeraldSun.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Player statistics for Patrick Mills". SportsTG.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- "Xinjiang Flying Tigers release Patty Mills". Sportando.com. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills sacked as club claims he faked injury". HeraldSun.com.au. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Spurs Sign Patrick Mills". NBA.com. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "Notebook: Spurs 107, Warriors 101". NBA.com. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "Aussie Patty Mills shines again in NBA". SMH.com.au. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "Mavs nip Bucks by 1 after 50-point blowout of Knicks". ESPN.com. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Spurs Re-Sign Patrick Mills". NBA.com. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
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- "Patty Mills Exercises Player Option". NBA.com. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- McCarney, Dan (12 October 2013). "Patty Mills, before and after". MySanAntonio.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Notebook: Spurs 104, Heat 87". NBA.com. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills Sparks the Spurs in the 3rd Quarter". YouTube.com. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "SPURS RE-SIGN PATTY MILLS". NBA.com. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- Dutton, Chris (2 July 2014). "NBA championship winner Patty Mills out for seven months with shoulder injury". SMH.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills 2014-15 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Leonard, Mills lead Spurs by Grizzlies for 3-2 series lead". ESPN.com. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- "SPURS RE-SIGN PATTY MILLS". NBA.com. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Wojnarowski, Adrian (1 July 2017). "Patty Mills to re-sign with Spurs on 4-year, $50 million deal". ESPN.com. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Aldridge's double-double rallies Spurs past Pistons 96-93". ESPN.com. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Aldridge leads Spurs past Clippers in Leonard's home debut". ESPN.com. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- McKern, James (26 February 2018). "Patty Mills was subjected to sickening remarks from an NBA fan". News.com.au. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- "Aldridge, DeRozan help Spurs rally past Bucks, 121-114". ESPN.com. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- "Patty Mills FIBA archive profile". FIBA.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Australia's Patty Mills tops Olympic basketball point-scoring averages". HeraldSun.com. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Davis, Sam (27 July 2012). "Former Boomer remembers Moscow Olympics". ABC.net.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Gaskin, Lee (29 May 2012). "Family man Lee makes mark at Raiders". SMH.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Jawai commits to Boomers | Basketball Australia". basketball.net.au. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- "Four Aussie basketballers await NBA draft fate". Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- Smith, Aaron. "'I've just refueled the culture tank': NBA star Patty Mills returns home". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- Zwerling, Jared (13 June 2014). "Patty Mills Riding an Aussie Hoops Explosion, and the NBA Finals Is Just a Start". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
Also, Mills and his girlfriend from college, Alyssa Levesque, who also played basketball at Saint Mary's, challenged each other to stay fit by incorporating the same healthy diet.
- "Keep the Passion: Patty Mills". poundingtherock.com. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Nairn, Jessica (18 July 2014). "NBA champion Patrick Mills awarded the keys to the city in Canberra". ABC.net.au. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Game Day! Championship Collection. Google Books. Allen & Unwin. 2018. ISBN 9781760523800.