Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Heading into the 2012 Olympic Games, Team Australia were not a complete team and were facing the fact they will have to play without center Andrew Bogut. Without Bogut, Australia would be depending on San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills to guide the team in Olympic play and according to head coach and Spurs assistant coach, Brett Brown, Mills earned the right to be the leader due to his hard work on the court.

Leading up to the London Games, Brown and Mills worked endlessly in the gym and Brown says Mills earned the right to make shots.

'People just wouldn't believe what he did with me in San Antonio the three months prior to coming to Australia and getting started again,' Brown said.

'We shot together a lot, more than I have with any other player and I've been lucky to be around some good players over my years.

'He's earned the right to make shots - he's come into this whole program thinner than he's ever been, his fitness is at a world-class level.

'His face, if you look at his arms, he's all cut up, he's ready to go.

'You combine the repetition of shooting and the commitment with being fit - he's earned the right to do well, and that's the message to Patty.'

At the Olympics, Mills struggled early going 1-14 in Australia's first two games. But he didn't let his slow-start bother him at all according to Brown.

'The Olympic Games ... an athlete's got to get through that,' Brown said of the tough start Mills had to endure.

'That's on him, he'll figure it out and he did.

'He was rewarded for his efforts.'

'I do (understand the pressure) but I say bad luck,' Brown said.

'It's just part of being an elite athlete. Go speak to Manu Ginobli, go speak to Tony Parker, go speak to Tim Duncan - that's just the way it goes.

'That's part of delivering on a stage that's pretty big and it is in him.

'You can't shy away from it and he doesn't, that's why he's on the up and up with his career.

'He's not afraid of this, he's not apologetic about it, everybody gets bad games.

'He lives the new day, he plays the next play.'

The Spurs recently re-signed Mills for next season, and with him displaying such an excellent work ethic, it's no wonder the team wanted to keep him around. However, it will be interesting to see how he will fit into the guard rotation. Currently, the Spurs are stacked at the point guard spot with Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, Nando De Colo, and Mills.

Regardless, if he keeps up this fantastic work ethic, it be tough for the Spurs coaching staff to not give him the minutes on the court next season. Mills is instant offense and the Spurs can definitely use that offensive punch off the bench.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.