It’s sporting joy all over the country today, as Australian ballers Patty Mills and Aron Baynes are now the recipients of a pair of brand new championship rings, as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the franchise’s fifth NBA Championship since 1999.
The Spurs, led by a veteran lineup built around Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard took out the best of seven series 4 games to 1 against the highly fancied Miami Heat led by the so-called “Big 3” of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Mills had cemented his spot on the Spurs bench as their primary bench guard, and saved his best playoff performance for when it mattered most, converting 17 minutes of Game 5 court time to 17 points, shooting 6 from 10 from the field, which included a game high total of five successfully made three pointers.
Mills and Baynes become only the third and fourth Australians to earn NBA Championship rings, following Luc Longley (who earned three as part of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls dynasty between 1996 and 1999) and Andrew Gaze (who picked one up with the Spurs as well in their first championship triumph in 1999).
Mills celebrated an emotional win with an embrace from Spurs coach Greg Popovich, before donning both the Australian and Torres Strait Islands flags.
Way to go, you absolute, fair dinkum, full donk, undisputed Aussie legends!
Photo: Andy Lyons via Getty Images.