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Patty Mills on Novak Djokovic: Rules should apply to everyone

Men’s Basketball Medal Ceremony: Day 15 Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Patty Mills admits he’s been following the news about tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s run-in with Australian immigration and public health authorities over Djokovic’s vaccination status.

“Yeah [I’ve watched] a little bit. I’ve followed a little bit from afar,” Mills said Wednesday. “I don’t know if he’s still in hotel quarantine, is that right? Has he left the country yet?”

Djokovic famously tried to enter Australia for the Australian Open without being vaccinated as required by the law Down Under. He stated on his application that he hadn’t traveled in the two weeks before his arrival, but he had taken trips to Spain and his native Serbia. In fact, Djokovic has tested positive for COVID and had attended a public event knowing he had the virus. In Australia where 90 percent of the country’s population is vaccinated, that caused quite the stir.

While a court ruled that Djokovic could stay in the country, Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke can cancel his visa and is considering it, according to reports.

“Yes. I won an Olympic medal and quarantined in a hotel by myself for two weeks,” Mills said of his own restrictions on return to Australia from Tokyo. “As much as a buzzkill as it was to [not] go home and celebrate with family and friends, I’ve done it.”

Mills, a strong advocate for vaccination, didn’t relate the situation to his teammate, Kyrie Irving. The NBA has no mandate for its players, after all, but Mills told reporters his pro-vaccine stance relates to personal circumstances within his indigenous community in Australia.

More importantly, I think my perspective of coming from a small community and a small place, especially an indigenous population where this kind of thing can run through a whole community and a generation very quickly,” Mills said. “So, I guess my understanding of doing your part to look after the community is important. One hundred percent.”