Well, I never thought I’d see the day that one of the proudest and most loyal Australians in the world, Patty Mills, gave up the great Australian privilege of smearing Vegemite on some evenly toasted Wonder White above a conservatively portioned layer of melting butter… The food we all know and love as “a Vegemite sandwich”.
Today is that day.
In an interview with Jim Rome, Patty spoke about what changes he had to make to his game after San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich referred to him at the end of last season as being “A little fat-ass”.
To get his body back into shape, Mills had to quit two of his favorite loves… Vegemite sandwiches and strawberry milk. Mills told Rome:
“Obviously I knew what I had to do make a contribution to this team and I thought that last summer was a big summer for me to correct those things and basically just put me in the best possible position to be on the team.”
“No, it isn’t [easy to give up strawberry milk]. Neither is Vegemite sandwiches, but I had to give up that, unfortunately,”
“I’m remembering where I’m from in Australia and I do treat myself every now and again, but it is tough, especially that strawberry milk.”
Obviously, it’s worked as Patty’s having a career year this season. Averaging 10.2ppg in a career high 19 minutes. He’s top 10 in the league in Effective FG% (.565) and top 10 in 3pt% (.424). Mills has really become the ‘spark plug’ so to speak, for the Spurs this season. The Spurs won 89% of their games this season that Patty scored 10 or more points, proving his value off the bench to the team’s success.
Patty isn’t the first member of the San Antonio Spurs/Boomers contingent to give up something very Australian in order to further his career. Teammate Aron Baynes gave up alcohol (it’s tough for an Aussie not to have a beer every now and then, trust me) back in 2012 in order to help him achieve a prime level of fitness. Since then, Baynes has gone on to play for Australia at the Olympics, dominate in the Euroleague and work his way into the NBA as a member of the Spurs deep bench unit.