Wise counsel: San Antonio Spurs's Australian guard Patty Mills. Photo: AP
Australia's Patty Mills reckons top NBA prospect Marcus Smart could learn a lesson from AFL star Adam Goodes, after the teenager shoved a fan in response to an alleged racial slur.
Smart, who plays college basketball for Oklahoma State, was suspended for three games over the incident in his side's loss to Texas Tech on Sunday.
After tumbling into the front row of the stands, the 19-year-old stood up and exchanged words with Tech supporter Jeff Orr before pushing him in the chest.
Some reports claim the fan had directed a racial slur at Smart, but Orr denied that was the case and said he only called him a "piece of crap".
Both Orr and Smart later apologised for their actions.
Responding to the incident on Twitter, San Antonio guard Mills said he understood the frustration and emotion showed by Smart.
"However in order to make a real difference fighting racism in sport, Smart could learn from Adam Goodes - an Indigenous Aussie Rules football player who was racially slurred by a young fan," Mills wrote.
"This incident did not result in violence. Instead his response & reaction shined a direct light on trying to eliminate racism in sport.
"Help educate those who still think it's ok to use derogatory terms."
Sydney Swans veteran Goodes made headlines last year after a 13-year-old Collingwood fan called him an "ape" during a match at the MCG.
The 2014 Australian of the Year has since used the experience to shed light on the issue of racism.
Smart is a projected No.6 overall pick in this year's NBA draft, behind Australian teenager Dante Exum.