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  1. q123
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    Although hes just 28, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has long been a source of pride for Australians.After honing his basketball skills at the Australian Institute of Sport, he made a name for himself in the United States as a collegian at Saint Marys. He was selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and spent two seasons in the Pacific Northwest. He joined the Spurs in 2011 and won an NBA championship in his third season in San Antonio.Now heading into his eighth NBA season, hes moving into elite company in terms of longevity, with only two Australians having played more seasons in the league -- Andrew Bogut (11 and counting) and Luc Longley (10). We recently caught up with Mills to discuss his homeland, the upcoming season, the Rio Olympics, footy and more.Q: How satisfying was it to bring the NBA championship trophy home to Australia in 2014?A: Huge, mate. Really huge. Australia hasnt experienced the NBA in any form or fashion ever, so having that opportunity to not only win the championship, but to take it home to let other people experience. ... At the time, it was me and Aron Baynes on the team, and we felt that support [from Australian fans] throughout the whole season. So I felt it was only the right thing to take the trophy back and let them experience it as well, because to an extent, they were a huge part of it as well. So going back and sharing it was very important. We took it to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns [Baynes hometown] ... and up to the Torres Strait, where my family is from. Its one of those things that gives me the tingles thinking about doing that. Im very proud of that.Q: How does the retirement of Tim Duncan change the chemistry of the Spurs this season?A: Theres obviously an empty feeling in the locker room and on the court, and theres no way to fill that. Tim Duncan has been here for millions of years, and theres no way you can fill that. But I might say that weve all done a great job in trying to pick up his slack to the best of our ability -- to understand that weve got another year here where were trying to reach the Finals again and put ourselves in the best position to hopefully win another championship.Q: How do you see the prospects for the Spurs this season -- especially considering the attention the Golden State Warriors are getting after adding Kevin Durant?A: That hasnt changed from year to year. Weve always been able to go about our business and slide under the radar, and whatever else happens around the league doesnt really bother us. Were really focused on ourselves and how well we can play -- strengthening our weaknesses and getting everyone to buy into our culture and onto the same page. Whatever else goes around the league is beside the point for us.Q: You take a lot of pride in your homeland. How does that manifest itself in your style of play and the way you carry yourself?A: It definitely carries over a lot of passion and pride in who I am and where I come from and making sure I represent those people the right way. And I think that mental attitude I take to everything I do, no matter what it is ... because I want to bring the best out of myself. For me, thats just a small motivation that adds fuel to the fire that I use to get myself going to try and achieve great things.Q: Now that youve had some time to reflect on the Olympics, how do you assess Australias performance in Rio -- in particular, the Boomers narrow bronze-medal game loss to Spain?A: Its one of those things thats going to sting and hurt for a while, but I have had time to reflect on it. Its a bitter feeling, because we did try very hard to win a medal and create history for Australia. We fell short [Spain won 89-88] by millimeters or by seconds or however you want to see it. Now Im teammates with one of those guys [Pau Gasol] who won the bronze medal, so I cant complain a whole lot. But from an Australian point-of-view, the feedback we got when we arrived back in Australia was really comforting. It was really good to know how many people followed our journey -- but not only followed it, they felt like a part of our journey from the beginning until the end. They rode our highs, and they rode our lows as well.Q: You were once pursued by the AFLs Sydney Swans. Do you ever consider what might have been if you had decided to play professional Australian rules football?A: I still do every now and again when I watch a game or I watch the Grand Final. Thats a good story that not a lot of people know. I love playing my footy, and I miss it. I have a Sherrin [AFL game ball] in my locker at the moment, actually, that I bring out onto the court to kick around with the boys.Q: Youre heading into your sixth season with San Antonio. Are you beginning to pick up any of the Texas accent?A: You tell me, mate! Well, this is my sixth season, and the South twang is very hard to ignore. But I think Im doing a decent job of it so far.Q: What do you think of the food in San Antonio?A: I love it. I love other cultures. Theres a Hispanic culture here with Tex-Mex. Theres a country culture with Texas barbecue. I love being amidst it and sampling new stuff. Six out of the 10 years that Ive been in the States have been here in San Antonio. So a big part of my life is here.Q: You will be a free agent next offseason. How much will the opportunity to be a starter influence your decision on where to play?A: Its a factor that I cant ignore. Ive obviously wanted to be a starting point guard in the NBA for a long time as a goal. But you know, every situation is different, and Ive learned stuff along the way. I think Im a better point guard now than I was when I first came to San Antonio. That credit goes to the environment here and how Ive been able to develop my game. Thats something that Im going to have to consider. Its not the be-all and end-all of my decision, but well see when it comes. This is obviously a big year for our team and trying to be able to concentrate and stay focused team-wise on trying to get to that next level of a championship. But if I can concentrate and focus on this team and what I can do to help this team, I think everything else will take care of itself.Q: Youre a long way from the end of your career, but would you have interest in playing in the Australian NBL (National Basketball League) when youre done competing in the NBA?A: Its definitely a consideration -- especially how well the NBL is doing now. They have my full backing and support, because the league has definitely risen to a whole other level in the last couple years, which is pleasing to see. I definitely would consider playing back in Australia at the end of my career. Not a lot of my family have been able to come over [to the U.S.] and watch me play. To be able to play in front of family and friends is very important to me, [so they could] be able to see me play live and not just on TV. Nike Air Huarache Drift Premium. Coach Mike Munchak says Fokou stretched ligaments in his left knee Oct. 13 against Seattle, which could keep out up to five weeks even though the linebacker didnt need surgery. Cheap Mens Nike Air Huarache Drift Premium Black. Rinne played two periods in his first game since left hip surgery in early May. Gabriel Bourque scored 3:07 into the second period and Austin Watson tallied 5:15 later for Nashville. http://www.cheapairmax270.us.com/cheap-air-max-270-mens.html.C. -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats got off to a fast start, and the Sacramento Kings were never quite able to catch up. Cheap Air Max 97 Mens. -- Jonathan Drouin gave Halifax the boost it needed to edge host Sherbrooke Phoenix 3-2 in a shootout in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Nike Air Force 270 Triple Black. Michell Burger, a woman who lives on an estate next to Pistorius gated community, said she and her husband were awoken by the screams in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year, when Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp by shooting four times through a door in his bathroom. WASHINGTON -- For the new-look Miami Heat, a high-scoring victory over the Washington Wizards proved winning is possible on a bad defensive night.Goran Dragic scored 22 points, Hassan Whiteside added 18 and 18 rebounds and the Heat beat the Wizards 114-111 despite some rough moments on the defensive end.James Johnson had 17 points off the bench for Miami, which both scored and allowed its most points all season to register its first back-to-back wins.Its a huge game for us, said Dragic, whose team entered Saturday ranked third in the league in average points allowed. Were not a team that runs a whole lot. ... But we just need to grind. And we did that tonight.Miami got its first road victory since its season opener despite 34 points each from Washingtons John Wall and Bradley Beal, both good for season highs.Dion Waiters scored 16 points for Miami, and Josh Richardson hit four 3-pointers among his 15 points as Miami went 13 for 27 (48.1 percent) from beyond the arc. In all, six Heat players scored in double figures.We try to get to the paint and attack, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. But teams have been really loading up on that, and so were trying to develop some more trust, some more ball movement to make teams pay for that.Miami shot 57.7 percent from the floor, almost 16 full points above its season average entering Saturday.They had some guys that usually dont make shots that made shots because they were basically workout shots -- there was nobody there to contest them, Wall said. I think we came out with intensity. I just think our one-on-one defense was terrible.Behind Wall and Beal, center Marcin Gortat scored 10 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. But no other Wizards hit double figures on a night Washington lost starting forward Markieff Morris to a sprained right ankle in the second quarter.Aftter Dragics jumper gave Miami a 60-59 lead to end the first half, the Heat opened the third quarter on a 10-4 run, stretching their lead to 70-63 on Whitesides bank shot.ddddddddddddLater in the third, Miami built its lead to 13 after a 12-4 stretch. Dragic drove inside for the last four points, his latter layup making it 89-76 with 2:41 left in the quarter.Man, the first half, nobody played defense, Dragic said. But we figured it out. The third quarter was good for us.Washington trailed by as many as 17 in the fourth, before closing the game on a 10-1 run. That was a little deceiving, with Walls second 3-pointer in that stretch coming with 0.9 seconds left.TIP-INSHeat: Improved to 3-0 when scoring 100 or more points ... Waiters started after testing a minor groin injury in pregame warm-ups ... F Willie Reed left early in the second quarter with a hyperextended right knee.Wizards: Sank to 1-8 when opponents score 100 or more points, and 3-5 in games when both Wall and Beal start. ... C Ian Mahinmi (knee surgery) will participate in his first practice of the season Sunday. ... Morris said he expects to practice Sunday.BOARDS IN BUNCHESWhiteside extended his season-opening, double-digit rebound streak to 12 games despite waiting until 3:34 left in the second quarter to pick up his first. By halftime, he had six.Hes a monster, Dragic said.A SECOND HOMEWith the victory, Miami is now 24-14 all-time at the Verizon Center. Its .632 winning percentage here is its highest at an opponents building where it has played at least 15 games.UP NEXTHeat: Open a four-game season series against the 76ers in Philadelphia on Monday.Wizards: Close a three-game homestand against Phoenix on Monday. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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  2. Meeniwo9471s
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