For Mills: It’s being part of one of the most professional and successful organisations in the sporting world, where he has grown as a player and developed deep, positive relationships with players and staff.
It’s also a chance to stay loyal to a team who gave him a second chance at the NBA, when opportunities were scarce.
I’m not entirely sure when the first cougars came to Grandfather (circa late 1970s-early 1980s), or of the impetus for creating a habitat for them — perhaps some of the staff at Grandfather can shed light on that story?
But I believe the image below to be one of those inaugural cougars, named Terra and Rajah, possibly upon arrival at the Mountain (judging from the ropes and the unhappy attitude).
It sounded like the Jazz brass weren’t exactly glowing of Exum in his exit interview.
Whatever was said, has caused Exum to cancel his holiday plans and stay in Utah to work on his game, even returning to Summer League play.
For the Spurs: their point guard cupboard is not as stocked as the numbers suggest.
Exum and Mitchell bring comparable qualities to the court, and are of a similar age.Murray is still raw and ideally, should share the role with a veteran.New addition White stands at 6-5 and can really shoot the rock, so playing off the ball should be an easy transition for him.It’s just as likely White was drafted to cover the Spurs’ unstable wing position. What if Manu Ginobili retires, Jonathon Simmons bolts for big dollars elsewhere and a rumoured Danny Green trade occurs?While Patty exiting the Alamo City is still a very real possibility, it does not look like the Spurs made this move, just so they can walk away from the negotiating table completely.When you count all the point guards on the Spurs roster – Tony Parker, Dejounte Murray, Patty and now White – Mill’s future in San Antonio looks bleak.The Spurs own Mills’ ‘Bird rights’, meaning they can potentially offer him the biggest contract.Officials blame continuing, numerous mountain lion sightings in the eastern states on mistaken identity (either another animal entirely or a migrating Western Cougar), or on big cats escaped from captivity — though they may have trouble convincing many locals of that!This sad news does provide an opportunity to highlight some of Hugh Morton’s striking photos of cougars in the wildlife habitats at Grandfather Mountain.I’m particularly fond of the shot below (taken in 1982 of the cougar named Judy).Two cougars, Nakita and Aspen, currently live at Grandfather (though the website doesn’t say whether either or both of them are Eastern Cougars).