Mills Out In China, Eying NBA Return

More bad luck for NBA players who chose to head to China.

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

Australian basketball star Patty Mills has been released by his club in China, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, amidst claims by the team that the 23-year-old had been faking an injury.

Flying Tigers general manager Hou Wei took to the internet accusing Mills of faking a hamstring injury, a claim Mills vehemently disputed via his Twitter account.

The star point guard injured his hamstring less than two weeks ago and was recently advised by his Australian doctor that the injury needed further recovery time after examining Mills’ MRI results.

After spending the past two seasons with the Portland Trailblazers of the National Basketball Association, Mills signed a lucrative contract with the Chinese club whilst the NBA was experiencing a four month lockout.

Unable to break into Portland’s rotation during his stint with the club, Mills opted for a short-term starring role China, posting averages of 26 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. It is believed the Australian international would like to return to his former club, but with three point guards already on the roster it remains to be seen whether the American club would be in need of his services.

Mills may face another hurdle before being able to sign with any other team as the international basketball governing body, FIBA, likely will not clear Mills to play again until the date in March when his contract with Xinjiang would expire.

Mills was already considered one of Australia’s brightest basketball stars in recent decades before he played for the Boomers national squad during the 2007 Beijing Olympics where he led the team in scoring. Still very young, the lightening quick guard will have another chance yet to make his mark in the NBA.

 

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS