NBA giants' emotional send-off for Aussie Mills

1 month ago 15
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NBA giants San Antonio Spurs have farewelled Australian star Patty Mills with an emotional send-off video ahead of his highly coveted move to the Brooklyn Nets.

Mills has been one of basketball's hottest topics this off-season, fuelled by a stellar Olympic campaign with the Boomers which saw the Aussie guard finish his time in Tokyo as the competition's leading scorer.

That was punctuated by an emphatic performance against Slovenia in which Mills dropped a whopping 42 points and nine assists to secure a historic first medal (bronze) for Australia in Olympic basketball.

After 10 seasons with the Spurs, which included an NBA championship, Mills now has his eyes set on linking up with NBA superstars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden at the Brooklyn Nets.

Patty Mills leads the Boomers. (Getty)

The newly-formed super team fell short in this season's bid for a ring, and handy role player like Mills would go a long way in plugging the holes in running the floor.

But before he departs for The Big Apple, the Spurs had one last emotional gesture for the Aussie led by long-time coach and mentor Greg Popovich.

"We didn't know what we were getting, really, when we got him," Popovich says in the video.

"As a basketball player, he's gone off the charts with development. But as a human being and as a member of our society and a leader on our team. He's been fantastic.

Patty Mills (Getty)

"He embodies empathy, awareness, an ability to be actionable after he speaks about things. He's a very special human being, he's doing things to try and make the world a better place.

"It's been a thrill to watch him grow from just a guy who got signed and didn't really have a role or wasn't sure whether he was going to stay in the league or make it or anything like that."

Mills and Popovich have shared a close relationship over their 10 years together.

That was nowhere more evident in Tokyo when the pair were photographed hugging after Australia's gold medal triumph. Popovich – who had already claimed gold with Team USA - had personally sat in the stands to watch Mills lead his nation to glory.

Patty Mills and Gregg Popovich (Getty)

Popovich has previously told reporters he was happy for Mills to play for a contending team rather than the rebuilding Spurs.

"We've talked before about what a wonderful human being he is," Popovich said, according to The New York Post.

"He's a really unique player. And he has been special for the Spurs, but he's moving on to Brooklyn now, and we'll miss him a great deal. It's a good move for him, playing for a team that's going to be a contender."

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