Crows Ambassador and NBA star Patty Mills is potentially only one win away from a NBA Championship with his San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs, who lead the Finals series 3-1, will host the Miami Heat in game five on Monday morning (Australian time). Mills has provided a spark off the bench in the opening four games, creating scoring opportunities with his defensive hustle and hitting a few big three-pointers.
Despite being in the midst of the biggest week in his life, Mills still found time to watch Adelaide's win over North Melbourne, taking to Instagram with a photo of him in the Club's Indigenous Round guernsey and congratulating Eddie Betts on his goal of the year contender and Brent Reilly on his 200th game.
A Spurs title would be a milestone in Australian sporting history. Mills and fellow Australian Boomer Aron Baynes, who is also part of the Spurs squad, would both receive Championship rings. Luc Longley and Andrew Gaze are the only Aussies to win championship rings. Longley won three rings with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the 1990s while Gaze earned one with the Spurs in 1999.
The Crows have thrown their support behind their long-time fan. On the eve of game one, Patrick Dangerfield and Josh Jenkins were repping Mills jerseys. Even avid Heat fan Eddie Betts was happy to "support a brother" in Mills.
The Western Conference champions came heartbreakingly close to claiming the Championship last year, going down to the Heat in game seven after leading the series 3-2. The Spurs last won a championship in 2007.
A lighting quick and high-energy point-guard, Mills has seen more court time in 2014 as back-up to Spurs superstar Tony Parker. The avid Crows fan played some crucial minutes throughout the playoffs, hitting several clutch three-pointers to help San Antonio to a Finals re-match with Miami.
NBA Coach of the Year Tony Popovich heaped praise on Mills on the eve of the Finals series.
“We wouldn’t be here without him (Mills), I know that,” Popovich said.
“He was great off the bench for us this year and always a good jolt of energy in several different ways, so he’s been a significant part of our success so far.”