Patty Mills’ emphatic arrival in Brooklyn has been rewarded with a maiden NBA All-Stars nod with the Boomers great the first Australian to compete in the three-point contest.
Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, CJ McCollum, Fred VanVleet, Desmond Bane and Luke Kennard will join Mills at Cleveland’s All-Star weekend on February 19.
And, after earning a call-up to the Rising Stars game alongside compatriot Dyson Daniels, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey will also appear in a new-look skills challenge for Team Rooks.
Long-time San Antonio Spurs favourite Mills instantly won over the Nets’ fanbase with his swashbuckling shooting form, making NBA history by draining his first 10 attempts to begin the season.
He sits fourth in the NBA in total three-pointers made with 172 and ninth in three-point percentage (43.6), making him the only player in the league ranked in the top 10 in both categories.
Boomers teammate Joe Ingles has been among the league’s best shooters in recent years but the Utah star, currently out injured, had always laughed off the prospect and never made an appearance.
“We all thought Joe would be there in years gone by and like Patty deserved to be there,” former Boomers great and noted shooter Andrew Gaze told AAP.
“From a shooting perspective, whenever I’m coaching kids I always tell them to watch Patty because his shot is so fundamentally sound.
“And he has been the perfect fit in Brooklyn after so long with the Spurs; he seems to have found a home and loves to get into the community and you earn a lot of respect for that.”
Giddey’s busy weekend will see him join Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham on Team Rooks and compete against Team Antetokounmpos (Giannis, Thanasis and Alex Antetokounmpo) and Team Cavs (Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley) under a revamped format.
The youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double will join 18-year-old G League star Dyson Daniels in the Rising Stars game, in a tantalising look to the Boomers’ future.
“They’re part of that next gen and, even if the core remains fairly stable, after winning bronze (in Tokyo) that could be the difference if we’re trying to upgrade to gold,” Gaze said.
The NBA also announced Juan Toscano-Anderson, Obi Toppin, Jalen Green and Cole Anthony will take part in the Slam Dunk Contest.
PATTY MILLS’ 2021-22 NBA SEASON
* First player to make his first 10 three-point attempts of the year
* Fourth in NBA total three-pointers (172), better than his previous season-high of 161 with 29 games to go
* Leads the NBA in catch-and-shoot three-pointers made (140) and is second in catch-and-shoot three-point percentage among players with at least 200 attempts
* Only player to rank in the top 10 in both percentage (ninth, 43.6) and total makes, while nobody has a better percentage on more attempts (7.8 per game)
* Averaging a career-high 13.8 points per game and has recorded 15 20-point games this season, ahead of his previous career-high of nine
* Posted two 30-point games after scoring 30 or more points just three times in his first 12 seasons
* Needs one more start to equal his most (36) in one season
* Sits fourth in NBA history in three-pointers made off the bench and leads all current NBA players in three-pointers off the bench since his debut in 2009-10.
(Australian Associated Press)