Australia coach Brett Brown predicts the career of Patty Mills will continue to soar after the star guard's successful stint at NBA powerhouse San Antonio Spurs.
And Brown believes Australian basketball will reap the benefits of Mills's sky-high confidence at the London Olympics.
Mills's journeyman career appeared at the crossroads in January when his contract with Xinjiang was controversially terminated, with the Chinese club accusing him of faking a hamstring injury.
But a lifeline from San Antonio, where Brown is an assistant coach, has sparked a bright new chapter for Mills, with the former Portland guard hitting career-best form at the star-studded Spurs.
Mills nailed an impressive 27 points against Phoenix on April 25, before setting a new Australian single-game record with a 34-point haul against Golden State just a day later.
The 23-year-old was barely sighted during the play-offs as stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili returned to run the show, but Brown believed Mills's experience at the Spurs would prove to be career defining.
''I think it resurrected his career,'' Brown said yesterday. ''He was caught at a cross-roads where he was in between leagues, he was in between teams. To be able to be brought in by such a great franchise like the Spurs and have the opportunity to again be with me … it was a win on everyone's part.
''The Spurs were fortunate to have him, he was fortunate to have the Spurs and if you put your Boomers hat on, basketball in Australia will reap the benefits of he and I being able to be together. … The relationships he shared with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and other internationals … you can't put a price tag on that experience.''
Mills, who has the option of playing on with the Spurs next season, is in San Antonio to work on his fitness and skills, meaning he will miss Wednesday night's third and final clash with China in Perth.
Australia leads the series 2-0, and Brown was looking forward to being thrust back into the hot seat after flying in from America yesterday following San Antonio's play-off exit at the hands of Oklahoma City.
''The disappointment of getting bumped out of the NBA play-offs was significant, but to have something as exciting as the preparation of the Olympic Games waiting for me makes it a little bit easier,'' Brown said. AAP