Portland’s love affair with Patty Mills
By sarahhecht Posted in: PattyMills
What's up with the overwhelming love for the Aussie in number eight? Is it his contributions on the court? His never-ending team spirit? His antics behind Mike and Mike? His hilarious Twitter games? Dare I say, the accent? Regardless of the reason, many Trail Blazers fans have gone gaga over guard Patrick Mills.
During Mills’ season debut vs. the Raptors, Patty saw some minutes as the game came to an end. As he headed to the court from the scorer’s table, Rose Garden fans welcomed him with a standing ovation. A standing ovation!? That's not a reception usually seen for a limited-minute second-year player. So I asked myself, “Whats this all about?” After mulling it over for a day or so I’ve come to one conclusion. It’s about the fans more than about Mills himself.
Portland fans are a rare breed. The not so distant past taught us there's much more to basketball fandom than on the court performances and stat sheets. The characters of the players putting up the stats are just as important. These are the men our kids look up to. The guys that put a public face on community service and giving back. For Trail Blazers fans, being a good person off the court will earn you comparable credit to hitting a game winning three. Patty embraces this very aspect of Portland culture and generates a cult-like following in the process. From cheering on the team from the bench—he’s always the first one up with cheers and high fives—to involving fans with his Twitter game “Aussie Takes with Patty Cakes,” his likable qualities reach fans of all ages. I asked a few friends what their takes were on Patty and every single response was positive. They ranged from his quality interviews and consistently hard work, to his response of “Oi, oi, oi” when prompted with “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” by a fan in the crowd. Overall I think it comes back to one thing, Portland fans love players with good character. Check out Patty's trailblazers.tv show, On the Streets with Patty Cakes
, to see what I mean.
My opinion is just one of many. What's your take on Portland’s love of Patty Mills? Has he captured you as a fan? Or are you waiting to see how he contributes to the team before you pass judgment?