After being the heartbeat of the squad successful 4 abstracted Olympic campaigns, it was fitting that Mills and chap seasoned Joe Ingles yet took the Boomers to the podium, securing Australia's archetypal men's hoops medal successful 15 abstracted Olympic Games.
Mills and Ingles were a portion of the Boomers squad that had their hearts breached by Spain astatine this aforesaid signifier 5 years agone successful Rio, and Australia's flagbearer made definite helium near nary bullets successful the enclosure with a show for the ages.
The 32-year-old finished with 42 points and 9 assists, staving disconnected repeated Slovenian comeback attempts with dagger aft dagger passim the contest.
Mills scored 26 of his 42 points successful the archetypal half, carrying Australia to a half-time pb earlier helium began to masterfully acceptable the table, assisting Ingles connected a fig of his fourth-quarter triples which yet sunk Slovenian prodigy Luka Doncic and his teammates.
Despite being household names successful the sport, the likes of Andrew Gaze and Andrew Bogut were forced to ticker connected with envy during their respective careers arsenic their pistillate counterparts reached 5 consecutive podiums during their ain aureate procreation betwixt 1996 and 2012.
By winning a medal successful Tokyo, Mills has present done what Gaze and Bogut could not, and helium paid tribute to the legends who paved the mode for Australia's existent procreation of hoops stars.
"They've been a large portion of this Boomers programme for a agelong clip and they've been done conscionable arsenic overmuch arsenic we have," helium said of Gaze and Bogut.
"We correspond the past and the contiguous and the aboriginal that's coming in. We're lone present due to the fact that of each of them, close backmost to the Tokyo squad that archetypal came implicit present [in 1964], we were capable to interaction basal with them and recognize who was connected that squad and what they were capable to do.
"It was guys similar Andrew Gaze and Andrew Bogut and uncle Danny Morseu and the large [Michael] Ah Matt, each of these radical that we went and touched and made definite we revisited wherever this Boomers programme started."
Having done what nary Australian men earlier them had done, Mills stated that a modular for men's hoops successful the state had present been set.
"We've been waiting for this infinitesimal for a agelong time. It's taken a batch of experiences, a batch of ups, a batch of downs for america to get implicit the hump," helium said.
"It's our civilization astatine the extremity of the day, it's our Australian culture, our Aussie spirit. It's the boys being capable to bent unneurotic and recognize the meaning of what it means to correspond your state and however heavy the layers spell for it to conscionable travel pouring retired successful moments similar this.
"Now that we've made it implicit the hill, this is the modular present successful Australian hoops for men and we instrumentality thing less.
"We accidental that 'gold vibes only' is the modular and we don't judge thing little connected the tribunal and disconnected the court. All of our preparation, it pays disconnected successful the long-run. I don't cognize whether to cry, laugh, smile, a batch of emotions."
The vaunted Boomers civilization was mentioned galore times successful the lead-up to this Olympic campaign, 1 that threatened to beryllium derailed by the pre-tournament determination of the country's champion player, Ben Simmons, to skip the Games.
With Slovenia threatening to adhd Tokyo 2021 to the heartache of Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Rio 2016, Mills and the Boomers relied connected the civilization to usher them into uncharted waters.
"Where we've been capable to physique our Boomers civilization is knowing the laic of the onshore that goes acold beyond hoops and for america that's ever giving back," helium said.
"Where we've been capable to physique our Boomers civilization to this constituent is being capable to recognize wherever we've travel from, wherever we spot the future, surviving successful the contiguous and who we represent.
"There's galore antithetic layers and we were capable to excavation heavy and find each of those and truly touched everyone.
"For america older guys, we've been done a lot. For the caller boys that person travel in, they truly recognize what it means to beryllium a Boomer and hopefully the remainder of the state does present arsenic well."
Having taken Australia's men's programme to the promised land, this aureate procreation volition present anticipation to pave the mode for the adjacent up of the adjacent Olympic run which is already truthful afloat of promise.
With Paris conscionable 3 years away, Mills and Ingles volition anticipation to beryllium determination to walk the baton to the likes of Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels, heck possibly adjacent Simmons himself.