A guiding light in the San Antonio Spurs’ locker room, guard Patty Mills was amongst those considered for the 2020 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of Year Award.
Great teammates do more than just put a ball in a basket or facilitate the offense. They lead by example both on and off the court, taking steps to make an impact on each player in the locker room and the community they represent. Few players take this job as seriously as San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills — The harbinger of the Spurs’ culture for the current roster.
Nothing specific changes from year to year in how Patty carries himself. A true spokesman of the game, Mills instills knowledge and confidence in the rotating cast of teammates that he goes to war with for the San Antonio Spurs. Mills was influential in helping veterans assimilate into the team’s culture. He takes young players to the side and has in-depth conversations with them to help get a grasp of what it takes to survive in this league.
This is why it’s no surprise to hear that Mills was one of the players nominated for the 2020 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of Year Award. Patty tied for the 6th spot with 527 votes including more second-place votes than any other player on the list. The winner was New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who took on a selfless veteran role for a young team this season.
More from Air Alamo
- The Ringer podcast goes crazy over Spurs’ Keldon Johnson
- San Antonio Spurs: Preparing for another DeMar DeRozan All-Star snub
- Rockets suffer another devasting injury before facing San Antonio Spurs
- San Antonio Spurs: 4 Players who led thrilling comeback over Wolves
- San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell’s drastic drop in minutes is inexcusable
Beyond his aptitude for kindness in the locker room, Mills extends his gracious attitude wherever he sees fit. Earlier this year, Mills began an initiative that raised money for women affected by domestic violence in the San Antonio area. He’s also been a pivotal figure in raising awareness for the fair treatment of indigenous people in his home country of Australia.
When we talk about the Spurs’ culture, Mills is exactly who we’re talking about. This is a selfless, intellectual individual who leaves his impact on every teammate. Of every loyalty contract that the Spurs have given to role players over the years, this is the one that fans will not contest. Even if he gets paid more than his on-court impact is worth, Mills makes up for it tenfold off the court.
Since the award was first inaugurated in 2013, only one San Antonio Spurs player has won it. That would be franchise cornerstone Tim Duncan, who won the award in the 2014-15 season. Duncan certainly deserved his selection, but everything that Timmy brings the table as a teammate was passed down to Patty. Duncan is still on the sidelines with San Antonio, this time as an assistant coach. Part of the draw to being with the team again is to spend time with an individual as cherished and kind hearted as Patty Mills.
I don’t think anyone would be surprised if No. 8 hangs in the rafters of the AT&T Center once Mills retires from the San Antonio Spurs.