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Patty Mills: New date for Australia Day celebrations
NBA

Patty Mills: New date for Australia Day celebrations

In his latest blog for NBA Australia, San Antonio's Australian point-guard Patty Mills talks about what he got up to on Australia Day, why the Spurs are so good at what they do and gives out his tip for the Super Bowl.

Celebrating Australia Day is really important to me and I always try and get my team-mates involved, but this year I had other things on my mind.

We played the Heat in Miami on Australia Day and it was a real important game for our team as it was the first time we had gone up against them since the NBA Finals last year.


It was a special feeling for me having such a big game on such an important day and it was just a pity that we couldn’t get the win.

That doesn't mean I won't be celebrating Australia Day though as I have a little something special planned for my team-mates next month.

We have six days off for the All-Star game in February and I have pushed the Australia Day celebrations back to then so all my team-mates can have a bit of a break from basketball and wind down a little bit.

It is important for us that we do things outside of basketball and I believe it helps us become better players on the court.

We are going through a bit of a tough stretch at the moment with a few of our starters injured, but everyone is ready to step up and contribute when needed.

It is really tight at the top of the Western Conference and we need to make sure we are ready to play Spurs basketball on every night we take the court.

Two of our main rivals in the West are the Thunder and the Blazers and it was really disappointing to lose matches to them last week.

However, we believe we have learnt from those losses and now know we have to play them a certain way if we want to beat them later in the season or in the playoffs.

We want to be playing our best basketball in the playoffs, so for now it is just a matter of taking each game as it comes and improving with every performance.

Next week the Super Bowl is on and hopefully I get the chance to sit down and watch the big game with a few of my team-mates.

The American Football is huge over here and I am right into it, although I was a bit disappointed when my team - the Philadelphia Eagles - were knocked out by the Saints a few weeks back.

It should be a really good game between the Broncos and the Seahawks and I think the Seahawks can get the job done in a tight one.

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Patty Mills: Special moment for all

In his latest blog for NBA Australia, San Antonio's Australian point-guard Patty Mills talks about making history in the NBA and learning about different cultures around the world.

It was an unbelievable feeling to start an NBA match alongside two other Australians last week, but I don't think any of us realised what was actually occurring until just before tipoff.

I got told earlier in the day that I was starting and I knew Aron Baynes was going to as well, but we were just preparing for the match like it was any other game.

MORE: Historic NBA match for Australia

Then we walked out on court together and I saw Andrew Bogut out of the corner of my eye and went up to him to wish him luck and all of a sudden it started to sink in what was happening.


There were three of us Aussies starting the match and it was really special to be involved in what was a first for Australian basketball.

And it felt even better after the game because we got the win!

MORE: Andrew Bogut - Too many Aussies not enough

I am still buzzing from the whole experience, but as a professional basketballer you have to move on pretty quickly and concentrate on the next game.

We have a tough stretch coming up and it is important that we stick together and ensure we are all on the same page working towards executing our game plan.

They are a great bunch of guys at the Spurs and it is awesome learning more and more about all the different players on the roster.


We have Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando DeColo from France, Manu Ginobili from Argentina, Marco Belinelli from Italy, Tiago Splitter from Brazil and of course myself and Aron are from Down Under.

Then there is Tim Duncan, who has been around for so long and always has a story to share with us.

I really enjoy learning about all the diversity and different cultures from around the world that these guys talk about and I think it is underestimated how much that helps us on the court.

Whether we are chatting in the locker room or out for dinner, you always find yourself learning about each other in a deeper way and it helps build trust when it comes to game time.

Some of the stuff the guys talk about I never would have imagined I would be learning about and I always make sure I listen and take it all in.

I am also glad I live in Texas and play for San Antonio as it is far too cold in some other places we travel to play at.

It was minus eight when we played in Toronto last time I wrote and, when we left there, we flew straight to Milwaukee where it was minus 18!

I much prefer San Antonio where I like to get around in my shorts and a T-shirt and the weather is much more like it is back home in Australia.

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Patty Mills: Snow problems in the big league

In his first blog for NBA Australia, San Antonio's Australian point-guard Patty Mills says getting through the North American winter is one of the tougher challenges he has had to overcome as an NBA player, but he wouldn't be anywhere else in the world right now.


There was the odd cold day in Canberra when I was growing up as a teenager, but nothing like what we just flew into in Toronto.

We left a relatively mild San Antonio this morning and have only just arrived in Toronto ahead of our game against the Raptors.

It is eight degrees and snowing outside, so all I want to do is stay indoors.

That's a huge difference to the conditions I am sure many of you are currently experiencing in Australia, but I suppose that is what we have to deal with as professional NBA players and life on the road.

We have started the year off really well, but we are not even a quarter of the way through the season so there is a long way to go.

Personally, I am getting more and more confident with each and every game and trying to do the best I can when I get the chance.

Getting in shape and conditioning my body was a big focus for me during the off-season as I really wanted to make more of a contribution this season and so far it has gone well.

But I feel it is just the beginning for me and that I can get better. I also feel I am very lucky to be where I am.

I am only 25, I have future Hall of Fame guys like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to learn off every day and help me develop my game.

They help me grow as an individual and mature as a player, so now I have to focus on maintaining my form and improving every day.

It was great having Brett Brown and Aron Baynes around last season at the Spurs, but Brett has gone on to bigger and better things this year and I am really happy for him.

Aron is a big part of the team and it is always handy having him on my side should an argument arise among my team-mates.

And it is great when there are holidays, like Australia Day, birthdays and Christmas, where we can celebrate together and do the traditional stuff that we like to do back home.

I am obviously very proud to be an Australian and I feel it is important to stay in touch with my national team-mates and I hope to get the chance to represent Australia at a third Olympics in Rio in 2016.

I always check to see how the rest of the other Australians go around the NBA and like to see how my national team-mates perform all around the world.

But my main focus remains with the Spurs and helping them get to the playoffs and go that one step further this season. That would make all the cold road trips to places like Toronto all the more worthwhile.

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