Patty Mills

Former Blazer Patty Mills will donate every cent of NBA salary to fight racism

Former Blazer Patty Mills will donate every cent of NBA salary to fight racism

Patty Mills wants to put an end to racism and he’s willing to donate his remaining NBA salary to do so. 

When the NBA restarts in Orlando, the San Antonio Spurs guard will participate, but with the goal of tackling racial inequality. Mills, an Australian native, will donate the approximately $1,017,818.54 he earns in the eight games scheduled at the Disney World campus to Black Lives Matter organizations. 

"I'm playing in Orlando because I don't want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities," Mills said in the video. 

Mills, who played in Portland for two seasons from 2009-11, said the salary will be going to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody, and We Got You, a campaign he helped organize that is dedicated to ending racism in sport in Australia.

For the first time in my career, I have white people — teammates, old teammates, old coaches — telling me they never knew the level of racism in sport, especially in Australia. They haven’t felt comfortable asking me, as a black Australian, about racism before. Which speaks to the impact and value of the Black Lives Matter movement and the millions who have participated in protests around the world.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

The NBA’s commitment to social justice causes will also be prominent in the league's return. The NBA is allowing players to make personalized statements on their jerseys through the remainder of the season.

Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has chosen the statement “How Many More?” according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. Lillard’s backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, will use his jersey to make a statement about education reform in the Black community. 

Teams are slowly arriving to the NBA bubble this week. The Trail Blazers will arrive on Thursday around 7:00 p.m. local time and are among eight arrivals of the 22 teams participating in the league’s restart. 

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers Coach Terry Stotts maps out Portland's practices in Orlando 

Trail Blazers' familiarity pays off in win over Spurs

Trail Blazers' familiarity pays off in win over Spurs

San Antonio’s Spurs left Portland after Saturday night’s defeat still searching for their first win on the road since last Feb. 25 at Cleveland, a span of a dozen road losses in a row if you want to include last year’s playoffs – and why wouldn’t you?

It’s a team in transition now, after having lost Manu Ginobili to retirement and Tony Parker to free agency. But the Spurs added perennial all-star DeMar DeRozan, too. However, it usually takes a while before all the new pieces to a team’s puzzle fit well together.

But that’s a problem the Trail Blazers don’t have.

Portland added key reserves Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas and a couple of rookies who have yet to suit up in a regular-season game.

But the core group of this team is back, Again. And that fact wasn’t lost on the Spurs.

“We knew it would be a key for us defensively: transition and half-court,” said San Antonio guard Patty Mills. “And they are such a well-oiled half-court offensive team -- they run their stuff really well. Their guys know their roles.

“They’re a group of guys that has been together for quite some time now, so they know their stuff. It’s always going to be a task for us defensively.”

Portland got the shots it wanted all night, as proven by its shooting percentage from three-point range of 46.9 percent and the overall percentage of 53.6.

DeRozan pointed to the futility of allowing a team as offensively skilled as the Trail Blazers to get off to a fast start.

“When you let (the Blazers) get a rhythm, they take advantage of it,” he said. “By the time we try to slow them down, they had it going, so we have to be better defensively.

“We made mistakes and had missed coverages and once you do that early on and they get into rhythm, it’s hard to slow them down.”

You are going to hear a lot of talk like that early in the season because many teams made key personnel changes during the offseason.

And it’s why the 2-0 Trail Blazers have a chance to continue their solid start to the regular season.

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Spurs extend Blazers losing streak

Spurs extend Blazers losing streak

For the first time this season, the Trail Blazers are on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff race.

The Blazers fell out of eighth place on Friday after they lost their fifth straight and ninth in 10 games in a methodical and thorough 110-90 beatdown by the San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center. 

Portland (13-19) played the final 6:10 without star Damian Lillard, who rolled his left ankle fighting for a fourth quarter rebound. Lillard, who finished with 16 points and 10 assists, returned after rolling the ankle, but labored in his movement and returned to the bench after a couple of possessions. 

One game after their passion and effort were questioned by coach Terry Stotts, the Blazers were better Friday, but it wasn't good enough to beat the Spurs (24-6), who improved to 16-2 on the road thanks to Kawhi Leonard (33 points), LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists) and Patty Mills (23 points).

Meyers Leonard scored a season-high 16 points to tie Lillard and CJ McCollum for the team lead in points.

The Spurs, who own the West's second best record behind Golden State, played without three key players as coach Gregg Popovich elected to rest point guard Tony Parker, guard Manu Ginobili and forward Pau Gasol. Portland fell into a ninth place tie with Denver, one game behind Sacramento for the eighth and final playoff spot.

San Antonio took a 57-45 lead at halftime, thanks in part to two free throws by Kawhi Leonard after he was fouled by Allen Crabbe just before the buzzer taking a 17-foot jumper. The Spurs outscored Portland 30-18 in the second quarter, much of the spurt coming from Mills, who had three three-pointers in the first half and five offensive rebounds from Aldridge. 

The Blazers struggled to 41 percent shooting in the first half as their two offensive stars -- Lillard and CJ McCollum -- both went 2-for-8 from the field. The shooting struggles never improved for the backcourt as McCollum finished 5-of-16 and Lillard 7-of-19.

Next up: Toronto at Blazers, 7 p.m. Monday (CSN).