HomeBasketball TodayPatty Mills Spills the Beans on Joining the Heat

Patty Mills Spills the Beans on Joining the Heat

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Mills is hoping to play more with Miami than he did with the Hawks.

New Miami Heat signing Patty Mills has joined the team and traveled with them as they will start a short two-game road trip on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks. Mills spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the Heat and talked about being a part of “Heat culture” and a “winning environment” after being bought out of his contract by the Atlanta Hawks according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.

“Look, been around for a little bit now and kind of experiencing the NBA there was an opportunity there of becoming part of the Heat culture was realistic,” Mills said. “I think where I’m at in my career and to be part of a culture like this, a winning environment, one goal in mind, and understanding the different aspects of people playing their part, playing their role and to be able to achieve a goal there, I think that’s been the backbone for me and what I’ve come from.”

Mills discussing role with the Heat

Atlanta Hawks guard Patty Mills (8) brings the ball up the court against the Toronto Raptors during the first half at State Farm Arena.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of a role Mills will play, he acknowledged that “conversations will be had” about what it will be, but there is no doubt that he bolsters the Heat’s depth at guard with the ongoing absence of Tyler Herro. Plus, with the announcement that Josh Richardson will miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery, the move to sign Mills made a lot more sense.

“Just understanding I just want what I can bring just in terms of my personality and professionalism, understand how you go about carrying yourself as an elite athlete and all those things,” Mills said. “I think those things have gotten me to where I am today and being part of an environment I think is that next level kind of elite. I’m sure over time now there’s conversations that will be had. But in the time being, it’s just how I can slide in here without being too much of a hassle.”

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Mills is the exact definition of an NBA veteran as he has been in the association for 15 seasons. However, this will be the first time in his career that he is moving to different teams in the middle of the season, a development that the Australia born player sees “a lot of positives” in.

“I think there are a lot of positives in something like this,” Mills said. “The opportunity to come over and slide into a culture, a winning environment that has one goal in mind to be the last team standing, is such a refreshing feeling for me to be around again. How I can impact that is exciting. But nothing is ever given to you on a silver platter and I’ve understood that for a long time. So just embracing those challenges.”

Mills reflecting on time with the Spurs when facing Miami in NBA Finals 

The Heat signing Mills through the buyout market is somewhat ironic as he has been on a list of players that have killed the team throughout the years, no matter what uniform. However, it was his time with the San Antonio Spurs that Miami fans probably remember best where he scored 17 points and shot five of eight from three-point range in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals.

“That was 10 years ago. I didn’t think that I was going to get that question now,” Mills said with a laugh as his time with the Spurs against the Heat in the Finals was brought up. “I was hoping a decade would hopefully wipe that out. But yeah, obviously part of this journey. I guess there’s some back story of what happened 10 years ago. But I’m still also pissed about what happened 11 years ago.”

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While Heat fans held resentment then, as Mills references, he is “pissed about what happened” in the 2013 NBA Finals where Miami won their second straight championship against San Antonio. He mentioned that “it goes both ways” with a laugh, but that extensive playoff resume and experience can only help the current iteration of the team.

“It goes both ways, I think,” Mills said via The Sun Sentinel. “There’s a lot that I have to give. There’s examples of that 10 years ago about what I can bring and provide. So I understand there are Miami fans that are still pissed at me. But look, I’m here to give all and everything that I have to this organization while I’m here.”

Mills compares the cultures of the Heat and the Spurs

Mills joins an organization with a winning culture like the Heat, but if there is another team in the NBA who resembles that, it would be San Antonio. He even said to the media Thursday morning that being with the Spurs has “prepared” himself to be a part of Miami.

“Being in San Antonio and being part of that culture for so long I think has prepared me and has gotten me ready for something like this,” Mills said. “But you look back at both cultures and the success they’ve had and they continue to have over the years, there’s a culture here and you don’t throw around the culture word that deeply without it having some deep meaning and deep roots to that thing.”

Mills with a different jersey number than usual with Miami

At the age of 35-years old, Mills will hopefully provide some worthy minutes to the team now that they are in the home stretch of the season. He will rock the No. 88, despite having worn the No. 8 elsewhere, but picked that as a analogy of an “mirror image” of himself on top that Jamal Cain wearing that digit.

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“It’s kind of a funny story, I guess,” Mills said per Winderman. “No. 8 was taken. It’s a funny deal, but it’s more so of a mirror image. I am No. 8, but why not throw another No. 8 in there? It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror and doing some self reflection of the journey that has been and also what’s to cohme, as well. It doesn’t take much for me, mate, just to jump in there and just absolutely stoked to be part of this. I’m ready to go.”

The Heat are 35-26 on the season which puts them sixth in the Eastern Conference that is very tightly packed so every game matters at this point of the schedule. Miami starts a brutal road back-to-back as they face the Mavericks tonight as said before, then the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday who are second in the Western Conference.

Zachary Weinberger_headshot

About the Author

Zachary Weinberger joined ClutchPoints in October 2023 as a Miami Heat reporter as well as an Associate Editor. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2022 after covering the school’s athletic programs since his freshman year at the FAU University Press, where he was a Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He then covered FAU Sports for The Palm Beach Post.


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