The Boomers, after suffering an unsightly 20-point loss in their first exhibition game against Team USA, rebounded with a magnificent victory on Saturday afternoon. If you missed the game, a full replay is available below, with alternate sources linked.
Ben Mallis, reporting from Marvel Stadium that same day, on how Patty Mills led the Boomers in a concerted effort to take the win at home.
The cohesion Mills references has been building since this veteran group of Boomers landed at the AIS last decade. It has been incubating through every Boomers loss to a global powerhouse like Team USA. To that end, the fact Mills had his glowing national moment in front of Popovich is apt. It’s the type of serendipity that only sports can offer.
Coming off a defeat in just his fourth game in charge – a seismic event, given his predecessor, Mike Krzyzewski, won his final 76 games as head coach of the program – Popovich gave voice to someone he has seen grow up under his tutelage in San Antonio.
“In a strange way, I’m happy for him,”Popovich said of Mills. “He’s a wonderful human being. A much better human being off the court than on the court. I mean that sincerely. He is just a beautiful guy. He cares about people. He loves people. When someone like that has success, you’ve got to feel good about it.”Patty Mills closes out Team USA, secures historical moment for Australian basketball
Michael Kruger discussed how the Boomers’ well-honed chemistry broke Team USA’s defences that night, with film breakdowns.