What makes Patty, Patty?
It is on the hardwood the San Antonio Spurs veteran has made a name for himself and built a career.
But the work Patty Mills hopes will one day define him comes in parched communities far removed from sold-out basketball stadiums.
Those venues are simply an avenue to help the 31-year-old to make a change, to dream, to inspire.
For without Mills, the chance to celebrate Australia's indigenous culture on one of the biggest basketball events the nation has seen would be missed.
But six words helped pave the way for Australian Indigenous Basketball's representative team to take on the Kingdom of Hawaii in a curtain-raiser to the Boomers' clash with Team USA in Melbourne on Thursday.
We need to make it happen.
"His passion for indigenous culture and being able to showcase that on a world stage, he is very passionate about it," Australian Indigenous Basketball chief executive and men's coach Joel Khalu said.
"That passion helped drive him to help make it all happen. From our end, we couldn't have made it happen without Patty Mills.
"We've done a little bit with Patty previously, but obviously nothing to this magnitude. When we initially briefed him on the concept, as soon as he heard it he loved it.
"With him pushing it through his channels, through USA Basketball, the NBA, the NBA Players Association, that really was the thing that gave us a lot more credibility.
"It took us a little while to get the right people listening, but once we did, the momentum of it all took us a few meetings. Then it was up to the major stakeholders involved to get it over the line.
"Everyone seems to love the concept of adding in some culture to the game night and here we are."
But it goes far beyond game night.
For Mills, bringing two indigenous cultures together through basketball is a way to keep thousands of years worth of traditions alive.
It is a chance to educate people about his journey and the hardships indigenous people have faced in Australia for so long.
Much like he did the day he wore specially-designed shoes in an NBA game amidst the debate surround January 26.
"Invasion" was written on the left shoe, "survival" on the right, and the inner sides had the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait flags.
"Maintaining culture and traditions in any family, or society is crucially important," Mills said.
"It helps build, develop and mould an individual into who they will eventually become. It forms an identity and will be the core of all values that evolve.
"As a representative and role model for indigenous people, I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process for this event on the court and also in our community. At this time I would like to thank basketball.
"For giving us indigenous people, the platform and opportunity to encourage our identities and to keep our cultures alive."
It is the kind of platform that could inspire the next Mills, the next Nate Jawai, the next Leilani Mitchell.
The benefit of playing on such a stage goes far beyond lifting the staggeringly small number of indigenous athletes in Australia's elite basketball competition - which as of last season stood at one in the NBL.
"What we wanted to do is make sure we weren't just focused on the basketball aspect," Khalu said.
"We wanted to make sure we were doing some community engagement as well."
So Mills joined members of the indigenous basketball community in Mildura on Monday to celebrate the installation of six hydropanel arrays across Australia, which has benefited towns like Wilcannia and Walgett.
The project has been delivered in partnership with Zero Mass Water and is set to provide more than 5000 litres of drinking water per month for drought-stricken communities.
"We've very grateful towards Basketball Australia, USA Basketball, and Victorian government in particular," Khalu said.
"For them to allow us this stage is huge, and the benefits that are going to come towards our organisation now and our footprint is only going to grow exponentially from here."