AUSTRALIAN Boomers and NBA star Patty Mills says he can sense a "special buzz” about the Brisbane Broncos after watching their come-from-behind victory over the Roosters.
Still getting over Australia's painful bronze-medal loss to Spain at last month's Rio Olympics, the San Antonio Spurs NBA championship-winning guard took the rare opportunity before heading back to the USA to watch the Broncos play.
And he was impressed with their fightback from 14-0 down to win 24-14.
"It seems like they have something special going on,” Mills told APN in the Brisbane dressing room after the game.
"They'd be pumped to get that win for Corey (Parker) and carry the momentum in the finals.
"It's such a big thing in sport to get that momentum (five wins in a row) and carry it on and use it to go forward.
"That's obviously a huge win for the boys and you can sense the buzz going on.”
Mills said the Broncos had been a big part of his youth.
"The Broncos have been a big part of the family growing up, going to games with uncles and aunties and cousins,” said Mills, a close friend of Jharal Yow Yeh and several other players.
"It's tough being away from the country but following Brisbane and the NRL helps keep me connected.”
Mills, who played fullback and centre for the Dragons in Canberra growing up, said his mother Yvonne was very pleased he chose to play basketball and not rugby league.
"After watching how physical and big the players are I think my mum likes that I chose to play basketball,” he said with a laugh.
"She used to have panic attacks on the sidelines watching me play rugby league.”
Mills, who said the Rio experience would burn until Tokyo in 2020, admitted he still had the urge to play rugby league after watching the Broncos.
"It's funny when you come back (home) and you watch it, you miss it and you want to be out there playing,” he said.
He admitted he was still not over the Boomers' heartbreaking loss in controversial circumstances in Rio that denied them Australia's first men's basketball medal.
The 28-year-old shooting guard said he could only fit one rugby league game a year into his NBA schedule and was heading back home in a few days.
"It's back home (USA) and back to waking up at 3am in the morning to watch finals footy,” he said.
"Me and the missus are up at all hours of the morning watching the finals.”