Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills insists that fellow Australian Jock Landale has deserved a spot in the NBA. Landale, who went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft, got his shot in the NBA after the San Antonio Spurs signed him to a two-year contract.
“I was really impressed with Jock Landale,” Mills said during a remote presser by the Nets, per Eurohoops. “I’ve always thought that he’s been deserving to be in the NBA for a few years now. To be able to see him get his opportunity, obviously in San Antonio, is something that I was incredibly happy and proud of him.
It’s thoroughly deserved. He’s obviously in a good situation there”. Mills and Landale were representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics when the news broke out of Landale agreeing to a deal with the Spurs.
"Everyone kind of read the tweet that I'd agreed to terms and every single person in Basketball Australia reached out except for Patty and I thought this guy must seriously be locked in right now beyond belief," Landale laughed.
Mills and Landale eventually spoke about the Spurs
"After we won bronze, we got onto the bus and he was like 'yo, we sit next to each other on the bus and you're not going to say a single thing to me or ask a single thing about San Antonio?' After nine years with the Spurs, Mills left San Antonio to join the Nets.
“How can you prepare for something like this?” Mills said. “You’ve been in a place for ten years. Now you’re head is buried in an Olympic campaign and you’re so proud about representing your country and trying to get this elusive medal that Australia has never got before.
And in the next minute, free agency is in the middle of all that. You can probably understand the extraordinary circumstances. For me, being able to prepare for a lot of things is something that I take a lot of pride in. It was was one of those things… how can I prepare for all these before I enter the national team realm”.
“It was hard for me to know that I couldn’t have these conversations that I usually would in a normal world,” Mills added. “And it’s not that no one didn’t understand where my head was, it was more about myself.
The one person I was able to talk to was Pop [Gregg Popovich]. And obviously everything he’s ever done for me over my career, on the court and especially off the court… being able to do that was special and that was really the only conversation I was able to have”.