Patty Mills proves he’s perfect fit for Miami Heat with team-first messages

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patty Mills’ recent quotes to the media exude unselfishness and indicate that he could fit like a glove with his newest team, the Miami Heat.

First, the guard explained why he decided to join the Heat.

“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 and what my abilities are,” Mills said.

Mills also said that he hasn’t yet had discussions with the Heat on what his role with the team will look like.

“Having all those conversations are still to come,” Mills said. “But I think first and foremost, just understanding I just want what I can bring in terms of my personality and professionalism, understand how you go about carrying yourself as an elite athlete and all those things. I think those things have gotten me to where I am today.”

The 35-year-old continued on that topic and didn’t seem concerned that his role isn’t set in stone at the moment.

“I’m sure over time, there are conversations that will be had,” Mills said. “But in the time being, it’s just how I can slide in here without being too much of a hassle or asking too many questions, and understanding how I can help this team moving forward.”

Mills agreed to a deal with the Heat a couple of days ago after appearing in 19 games with the Atlanta Hawks this season. He averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game on 38.2 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Some Heat fans will remember Mills from when he served as a valuable role player for the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat. He averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting 56.5 percent from deep, and the Spurs eliminated the Heat in five games.

A lot of time has passed since Mills had a solid series against Miami in the NBA Finals, as the series happened almost a decade ago. But he is still one of the better 3-point shooters in the game today, as he hasn’t converted less than 36.6 percent of his attempts from deep in a single season since the 2014-15 season.

Plus, the last time he played over 40 games in a season — back in the 2021-22 season when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets — he shot 40.0 percent from 3-point range on 7.0 attempts per game.

Mills is joining a Heat squad that is fresh off an NBA Finals appearance in 2023 and hopes to get back to that stage later this year. At 35-26, Miami owns the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and is one game behind the Orlando Magic for the No. 4 seed.

Perhaps Mills’ championship experience and knack for spacing the floor will come in handy when the playoffs roll around in April.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.