Spurs PG Patty Mills embraces his new leadership role
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Spurs PG Patty Mills embraces his new leadership role

San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills has be thrusted into a leadership position after playing several seasons under coach Gregg Popovich and gaining his vote of confidence to take the helm amid the plethora of changes the organization has undergone in the past few months.

The Spurs lost Manu Ginobili to retirement, Tony Parker en route to the Charlotte Hornets and Kawhi Leonard via trade, only to lose another three bodies in Parker’s successor Dejounte Murray, rookie Lonnie Walker IV and backup Derrick White, all to sudden injuries.

Patty Mills has been the one taking over the captain role, providing the much-needed clutch gene and the commander in charge to echo Popovich’s mantra.

“You’re talking about Patty?” forward Rudy Gay asked, looking in the direction of Mills’ locker stall, according to Jabari Young of The Athletic. “Yeah, Patty is the guy.”

Mills, who has remained on his usual bench role, despite an avalanche of injuries at the guard position, is proud of his role on this team — one the organization bestowed upon him after rewarding him with a four-year, $50 million deal last summer.

“I honestly do take a lot of pride in it because I’ve been through a lot since I’ve been here,” said Mills, a seven-year veteran of this system. “Blood. Sweat. Tears. Injuries, surgeries; a championship, knocked out in the first round. But I’ve also grown up in these eight years from being whatever to where I am now. So, I take a lot of pride in it.”

The Spurs are still on the winning track, standing at 3-2 despite a low blow before the start of the regular season, now hoping to make the most of their talent for a 22nd straight trip to the postseason.