The Brooklyn Nets will face off against San Antonio for the second time on Friday night, and for two players in particular, the game holds a special meaning. Those two players are Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge signed with the Spurs ahead of the 2015-16 season and stayed in his home state of Texas until San Antonio came to a buyout agreement with the big man in March of 2021. The center then signed a one-year veterans minimum deal with the Nets.
Mills joined the Spurs in March of 2011. He was with the team through 2020-21 and signed with Brooklyn in free agency during the offseason.
Friday’s game will mark the homecoming for both players, but it will be extra special for Mills, who spent 10 years in San Antonio and won a title with the team in 2014.
And according to Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, he wants fans to show their appreciation for the 33-year-old in his return.
Dejounte Murray wants Spurs fans to embrace Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills.
Murray had the opportunity to play with Mills for five seasons in San Antonio and the two share a special relationship.
During his final year with the Spurs, Mills averaged a then career-high 10.8 points in 68 games (he started in one of those contests). He shot 41.2% from the field and 37.5% from the 3-point line.
Mills is averaging a career-high 13.4 points per game and is shooting 44% from the floor and 42.6% from the 3-point line. He’s played in 43 games and that includes 26 starts, which is the most games that he’s started since 2017-2018 (36).
Brooklyn did itself a favor by landing the guard in free agency. At the time, the Nets had no idea of what was to come with Irving and Harris, but Mills stepped forward and accepted the challenge with grace.
He’s a beloved figure in Australia, San Antonio, and now Brooklyn.
And lucky for the Nets, they’ll have him for at least another season since he signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the team.
Mills scored a season-high 34 points against the Lakers on Dec. 25 and he could very well come close to that on the same court that he won a championship on eight years ago.
Oh, and Spurs fans, you all better be prepared to rock AT&T Center for Mills. Murray is counting on it, and you don’t want to disappoint your star player.