|No. 8 – San Antonio Spurs|
|Born||August 11, 1988|
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|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 was born and raised in Canberra, and is of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Australian descent. In 2007, he became only the third Indigenous basketball player to play for Australia's national team. 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 College of California.
A 6'0" guard, Mills began his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010. In 2011, during the NBA lockout, Mills played for the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League (NBL) and for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China. 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 known for his three-point shooting and his leadership qualities.
Early life and family
Mills was born in the Australian capital city of Canberra. Mills' father, Benny, is a Torres Strait Islander (Muralag) and his mother, Yvonne, is Aboriginal Australian (Nyunga), the daughter of a white man and an Aboriginal woman. As part of the Stolen Generations, she and her four siblings were taken from their parents by the Australian state after her parents' separation in 1949. Mills has said that learning of his mother's past was a "turning point" in his understanding of his identity as Indigenous Australian.
Mills's uncle is former Olympian basketballer Danny Morseu, the second Indigenous Australian to represent Australia at the Olympics in basketball. Mills would be the third, thirty years later. He is the cousin of rugby league player Edrick Lee and fellow basketball player Nathan Jawai. Indigenous land rights activist Eddie Mabo, Mills's great uncle, fought for a landmark High Court of Australia decision in 1992 recognizing native rights to land in Australia for the first time.
Early basketball career
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 College of California, David Patrick, played for the Cannons during that time and developed a relationship with the Mills family.
In addition to playing basketball, Mills also played underage Australian rules football at a high level. He had an opportunity to pursue a career in the Australian Football League (AFL), but decided to concentrate on basketball instead. 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. 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, averaging 18.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and helping 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 Strait 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)
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 lockout
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, 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. He was released by the Tigers on 20 November after receiving an offer of about $1 million from a Chinese team, the 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; Mills denied the allegation that his hamstring injury was faked. In 12 games for Xinjiang, he averaged 26.5 points per game.
San Antonio Spurs (2012–present)
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 became the third Spur to have made 500 3-pointers as a reserve; the others are Manu Ginóbili and Matt Bonner. On 18 December 2017, in a 109–91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Mills became one of only three Spurs in franchise history to have scored 3,000 career points as a reserve; the others are Ginóbili and Malik Rose. On 25 February 2018 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mills climbed into fourth place on the Spurs' list of all-time 3-pointers made.
In March 2019, Mills became the only Spurs player to make more than 120 3-pointers in five different seasons.
On January 19, 2020, Mills made his 1,000th NBA 3-pointer. He is the first Australian player in NBA history to reach that milestone. On December 29, 2020, he became the tenth player in Spurs history to play in 600 games with the team. As of December 2020, Mills is the Spurs' longest-tenured player and is the only player remaining on the roster who was a member of the Spurs' NBA championship-winning team in 2014. Also as of December 2020, only two NBA players--Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors—had been with their respective teams longer than Mills had been with the Spurs. On January 18, 2021, Mills set an NBA record for most 3-point shots made for one team as a reserve. On the 14th of March 2021, Mills overtook Andrew Bogut's record for most NBA games played by an Australian by playing his 706th game.
National team career
In 2007, Mills made his senior national team debut for the Boomers at the FIBA Oceania Championship. Mills became the third Indigenous basketball player to play for Australia behind Olympians Michael Ah Matt (1964) and Danny Morseu (1980–84). 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.
|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|
|†||Won an NBA championship|
|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 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.
Mills has used his platform and resources to fight racism and police brutality, especially in his home country of Australia. In 2020, Mills helped launch "We Got You", a campaign to show support for athletes as they fight racism in Australian sport. He also gave about $1 million to Black Lives Matter Australia and Black Deaths in Custody.
- Reed, Ron (4 August 2007). "New kid on Boomers' block". Basketball.net.au. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007.
- Stein, Marc (31 July 2020). "The Better I Got in Sports, the Worse the Racism Got". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- Freeman, Eric (22 February 2011). "Patty Mills talks about his controversial heritage". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Metallinos, Nick (10 March 2017). "For Patty Mills, giving voice to indigenous Australians comes naturally". ESPN.com. 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.
- 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.
- "NBA hero could have been AFL star". AFL.com.au. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- Morrissey, Tim (14 November 2008). "Mills nearly a Swan". FoxSports.com.au. 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.
- "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.
- "Freshman Mills scores 37 points as Saint Mary's upsets Oregon". ESPN.com. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Patty Mills stats, details, videos, and news". NBA.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Mills enters NBA draft, will not hire agent". ESPN.com. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "PATRICK MILLS SELECTED BY THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS WITH THE 55TH PICK". smcgaels.com. 26 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "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.
- "Portland waives Tolliver, sends Mills to Idaho". NBA.com. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "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 released as club claims 'fake injury'". Stuff. 4 January 2012.
- "Report: Patty Mills Cut From Chinese Team Xinjiang After Allegedly Faking Injury". 4 January 2012.
- "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.
- "Curry leads Warriors past Spurs, 116-106". NBA.com. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "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.
- Golliver, Ben. "Reports: Spurs agree to re-sign Patty Mills to three-year contract". Sports Illustrated.
- 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.
- "Sharing cultures, traditions and education; Patty Mills cherishes first-ever Indigenous Night in San Antonio". www.sportingnews.com.
- "Patty Mills becomes 10th player in San Antonio Spurs history to play 600 games for the franchise". www.sportingnews.com.
- "Longest-Tenured Players By NBA Team". Hoops Rumors.
- "Patty Mills passes Manu Ginobili for most 3-pointers made off the bench with one team in NBA history". www.sportingnews.com.
- "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.
- "San Antonio Spurs: FIBA Patty Mills is here to set the NBA on fire". 7 January 2021.
- "San Antonio Spurs: 3 goals for Patty Mills in 2020-21". 10 December 2020.
- Tynan, Matthew. "'He's everything': Patty Mills and the continuation of the Spurs' culture". The Athletic.
- "G'day Mate! The Crucial Impact of Patty Mills on the Spurs". 19 March 2017.
- Dubinski, Marilyn (5 June 2018). "2017-18 Spurs Player Reviews: Patty Mills". Pounding The Rock.
- Orsborn, Tom (9 December 2018). "Mills' leadership helps Spurs survive tough times". San Antonio Express-News.
- 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.
- 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. Allen & Unwin. 2018. ISBN 9781760523800.
- "Keep the Passion: Patty Mills". poundingtherock.com. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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