Paul Roos says Sydney's former skipper Stuart Maxfield had approached Patty Mills who was showing flair in both AFL and basketball.. Photo: Getty Images
Paul Roos couldn't be happier to see Patty Mills become an NBA champion, although he had tried to lure the youngster away from basketball to play AFL.
Canberra-born Mills scored 17 points in Monday's game five of the finals against Miami Heat in San Antonio, as the Spurs claimed victory 104-87 to win the series 4-1.
Ex-Sydney coach Roos recalled how Sydney's former skipper Stuart Maxfield had approached Mills who was showing flair in both sports.
"He might have won the medal at the (junior) championships for NSW so he was quite a talented footballer," Roos told Fox Footy's On The Couch program on Monday night.
"At that stage when Stuart Maxfield spoke to him I think he had just accepted an Australian Institute of Sport basketball scholarship in Canberra.
"I'll bet he's glad now. He's joined elite company today.
"Congratulations to him. He's a terrific young fellow as well."
Mills chose basketball over Australian Rules football at the age of 16 in 2005, deciding to accept an AIS scholarship after it was declined by Scott Pendlebury, who is now captain of AFL club Collingwood.
Roos, who guided Melbourne to an upset AFL win over Essendon last weekend, said he had used the Spurs as a teaching tool.
"I'm a massive basketball fan. We showed some tape of the Spurs last week," he said.
"It's all about team and it's all about system."