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Aussie star’s NBA dream still alive

Aussie basketball legend Patty Mills has signed with the Miami Heat for the rest of the 2023-24 NBA season.

The new deal came just days after he was cut from the Atlanta Hawks, ESPN reported. Mills has been signed on with the Heat in a short-term deal ending after this season’s playoffs.

The 35-year-old’s future and Olympics hopes had appeared in doubt after the Hawks waived him a day before the NBA’s March 1 buyout deadline, which is the final day a player can be cut from one team but still be able to play in the post-season, or finals, for another.

The new deal has given him a real chance of playing post-season basketball with the Heat, who sit seventh on the Eastern Conference table with a record of 34-26 and have become 1.5 wins away from a spot in the top four.

Mills is set to join a star-studded Heat line-up which includes Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Kevin Love.

The star guard played in just 19 games for the Hawks.

Mills steered the Boomers to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Games and Australian basketball great Chris Anstey had said Mills should head to Europe to get solid court time to best prepare for the Australian Boomers’ 2024 Paris Olympics campaign.

Anstey, who finished his career in Europe after the NBA, said such a move could help Mills ahead of the Games.

“This could be a really interesting few months for Patty Mills,” Anstey said on social media platform X.

“Taking a high level, high opportunity European contract to finish the European season could be the best preparation for his final Olympic Games.”

Mills has played 15 seasons in the NBA for a total of 879 career games and arrived at the Hawks after trades from Brooklyn to Houston and Oklahoma City.

He spent a decade at the San Antonio Spurs, where he won an NBA championship, and has kept a close relationship with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Mills has previously spoken about finishing his career back home in Australia with a stint in the NBL.



  • playoffs: finals
  • waived: when a player is released from their contract and can no longer play with the team
  • post-season: finals
  • stint: a period of time working somewhere

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1. Which team did Patty Mills get cut from?
2. Who has he since signed with?
3. How many seasons has the Australian played in the NBA?
4. Which team did he play in for one decade?
5. What is the name of Australia’s national team?


1. Give them a new nickname
Can you think of a better nickname for the Australian Men’s Basketball Team that the Boomers? Write it down and write sentences explaining your choice.

Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education, Visual Communication Design, Design and Technologies

2. Extension
What do you think makes Patty Mills a good role model for kids your age? Use information from the story, and perhaps your research skills to find out more about him, to write a story about him. The purpose of your story is to leave your reader inspired and motivated by Patty.

Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education

Creative vocabulary
Find a bland sentence from the article to up-level. Can you add more detail and description? Can you replace any ‘said’ words with more specific synonyms?

Have you outdone yourself and used some really great vocabulary throughout your writing? Firstly, well done. Secondly, let’s ensure everyone can understand it by adding a glossary of terms. Pick three of your wow words and create a glossary for each word to explain what it means.