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

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Report: Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Jim Harbaugh to Michigan speculation building

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Rex Ryan doesn't want to get in trouble talking about Revis

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Max Scherzer next domino to fall in free agent market

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

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.

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Andrew Hawkins defends shirt

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.