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Nets' Patty Mills supports Australia's COVID-19 rules for everyone, including Novak Djokovic

Nets guard Patty Mills dribbles the ball up

Nets guard Patty Mills dribbles the ball up court against the Orlando Magic in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Patty Mills has been watching the Novak Djokovic lack-of-vaccination saga from afar, and the Nets' Australian-born guard doesn’t think that the superstar tennis player should get any kind of special treatment.

Said Mills when asked Wednesday if he thought rules should apply equally to everyone: "Yeah. I won an Olympic medal and quarantined in a hotel by myself for two weeks. As much as a buzzkill as it was to [not] go home and celebrate, I’ve done it."

Mills went on to say that Australia, which is 90% vaccinated, has to be very cautious when it comes to public health measures.

"I think my perspective is from coming from a small community and a small place, especially in an indigenous population where this kind of thing can run through a whole community and generation very quickly," he said. "So, I guess my understanding is that doing your part to look after the community is important, 100%."

Mills, of course, is a teammate of Kyrie Irving, one of the most famous unvaccinated athletes. Irving, however, has abided by the rules and does not play in New York or Toronto, where local COVID-19 ordinances prevent him from doing so.

Tremendous opportunity for rookie

Heading into Wednesday night’s game at the United Center, undrafted rookie David Duke Jr. had started four straight games for a team of championship caliber.

Duke never envisioned this scenario when he signed a two-way contract with the Nets this past summer.

""I can’t say that I expected anything," the forward from Providence said after the shootaround Wednesday. "To just play honestly has been more than I can say I expected."

For Duke to play in the playoffs, the Nets would have to create room in the rotation for him. Coach Steve Nash said that there are several players vying for a spot as a regular complementary player.

"Everyone is kind of still in the running to take the bulk of those minutes," Nash said. "So until we see someone that really takes it — and takes it for a while — we’ll probably continue to mix it up and give guys different opportunities."

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