Gregg Popovich reacts to Patty Mills’ decision to donate salary to Black Lives Matter
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills will donate his remaining salary for the 2019-20 season, amounting to more than $1 million, to aid Black Lives Matter organizations in his home country of Australia. With that, head coach Gregg Popovich lauded the Aussie’s decision and called him the “spiritual leader of the team.”
“He’s the spiritual leader of the team. He’s actionable and a very special human being,” Coach Pop said of the Spurs veteran, per RJ Marquez of KSAT 12. “He feels it for racism in our country and his country. He’s doing things to try and make the world a better place.”
Several players have been on the fence about participating in the season’s return. However, Patty Mills chose to return to take every penny he is earning and give them to a charitable cause. In total, Mills will receive $1,017,818.54 in the league’s restart in Orlando, all of which will go to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody, and the We Got You Campaign.
The NBA has also given players an opportunity to use the bubble games at Walt Disney World resort as a platform to voice their stance on social issues. This includes the option of changing the name on their jerseys to a phrase or word that would convey their voice or support for whatever they stand for.
The 31-year old Mills is having a career season with the Spurs this 2019-20. Prior to the hiatus, Mill was averaging a career high of 11.7 points while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from long range.
Gregg Popovich and his San Antonio enter Disney World as the no.12 seed in the Western Conference. They will need to make up four games from the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies if they want to extend their 22-year streak of making the postseason.