As the Nets try to move past a season of distractions and a summer filled with chaos, Patty Mills already senses a “night and day different feeling,” according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. The 14-year veteran won a title with the Spurs early in his career and understands the importance of a strong team culture.
“Look, I believe in all of that stuff,” Mills said. “I think that it’s always been a part of who I am and just enjoying being around teammates and getting to know them a lot more. Maybe that comes from my Australian background on the Australian teams, but then to see it at a professional, elite level in San Antonio kind of took that to a whole other level. But trying to get to be the last team standing or just trying to do everything possible to do that, it starts with those relationships.”
Mills was a free agent over the summer and could have moved on, but he opted to re-sign with Brooklyn for two more years. In addition to his role in shaping the culture, Mills is an accomplished shooter off the bench who can play either guard position.
“He’s a successful piece, he knows what it takes to be in an organization, he knows what it’s like to build trust and also do it at the highest level,” Kyrie Irving said. “You need a guy like Patty Mills just simply to have the locker room synergized, but he also can give you minutes and quality play and can think out there for the young guys, as well as give us some veteran leadership.”
There’s more from Brooklyn:
- T.J. Warren is slowly making progress as he attempts to return from foot issues that caused him to miss almost two full seasons, Botte adds. The Nets don’t expect him to start playing before November. Coach Steve Nash said Warren is “doing some shooting” and “a little bit more movement the last two weeks than he was prior.”
- The departure of veteran big men has given Nic Claxton a chance to move into a starting role, Botte writes in a separate story. Claxton tried to learn something from each of his former All-Star teammates, a list that includes Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap. “I just took bits and pieces from everybody’s game,” Claxton said. “Especially the veterans, I listened to them, and now I’m ready to just show my own self and do my own thing. I feel a lot better, just mentally and physically. I feel a lot more confident now going into the preseason and just ready to get everything started.”
- Ben Simmons‘ treatments for his back problems included cryotherapy sessions last season, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Cryogenic therapy exposes the body to extreme cold for a short time to relieve pain and inflammation.