He was the longest tenured player on the Spurs roster and the last man standing from the 2014 NBA Championship roster. In a way, Mills’ leaving is the truest “end of the era.”
The Big 3 may have retired, the future leader opted out, the plans have shifted relentlessly, but Patty Mills was solid.
Courtside, he was the ball of energy waving a towel at each three-point shot made by the Silver & Black. At any time out, Mills was the first one off the bench, celebrating his teammates no matter the score or the reason behind the break in play. But his fervor was not scaled to the hardwood.
In the community, Mills was nothing short of an icon, supporting causes and small businesses while simultaneously addressing concerns affecting his homeland.
On his national team, he was the spotlight. As a Spur, Mills was noted for his locker room presence and great attitude. A leader to the next generation without being the spotlight player. Ego never seemed to factor into Mills’ plans. He simply radiated goodwill.
And now he is gone.
For NBA fans that are anti the “super team” mentality, Mills has joined the dark side. For those who look for the Spurs ties in any situation, Mills is with New Zealander Sean Marks, fellow 2014 Champion Tiago Splitter, and Jacque Vaughn.
No matter where Mills is, discussions will ensue as to whether his ten years in San Antonio are enough to earn him a jersey retirement at the fulfillment of his NBA career.
For today, we wish Patty Mills a happy thirty-third birthday and best wishes on his upcoming season. If the NBA scheduling returns to its regular format, Patty will step into the AT&T Center just one time this year, most likely to bombastic applause.
Patty, we love you.
Happy birthday, mate.
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