Patty Mills grabbing his veteran role by the horns

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This season, the San Antonio Spurs will have a bevy of young players on the roster.

From Dejounte Murray, Davis Bertans, Brandon Paul, Kyle Anderson to rookie Derrick White and Bryn Forbes, the Spurs are in the midst of a youth movement.

Entering his ninth NBA season, guard Patty Mills might be looked at as an old man on the roster. With his thick beard, rusty-throw back style of play, it can appear he is a wily veteran entering his 20th NBA season.

But the 29-year old is far from staring at retirement. In fact, he'll be looked upon by the youngsters on the roster for advice and teachings when it comes to navigating NBA waters.

"Well I'm not as old as Manu (Ginobili) but I definitely feel older," said Mills when asked if he feels like an old veteran in practice.

But the role of one of the Spurs veteran players is something he is embracing.

"I'm grabbing it by the horns," Mills said. "Making sure we can get everyone into buying into the system a week into training camp."

If Mills is going to grab that veteran role by the horns, it begins with his leadership. The nine-year guard has fully immersed himself into the Spurs' culture and the team in turn invested in him as they re-signed him to a $50 million deal over the offseason.

"Leadership is something that I've definitely have tried to focus on more, "Mills said. "It's not that hard. It's something that comes naturally."

"I'm just trying to play my part of making sure we can all get on the same page and move forward as a collective unit," said Mills. "Vocal on the court and constructive talk not only good but constructive criticism as well to be able to understand of what is expected of the guys."

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

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