Durant’s MVP Speech: Bigger Than Just Basketball

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    Updated: May 7, 2014
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    I don’t watch many MVP ceremonies for the same reason I do not watch awards shows, they’ve honestly never interested me.

    When I hear an athlete is winning an MVP I am always supremely happy for the athlete because I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to reach those heights on the biggest stage for such an extended amount of time.

    But when it comes to the acceptance ceremony, I don’t watch. The last MVP speech I recall watching was Allen Iverson’s from 2001 and regardless of how the media portrayed him, Iverson was always someone I enjoyed listening to because he always spoke from the heart.

    No scripts, no rehearsal, just 100% him and how he felt in the moment.  

    But yesterday I made sure to tune in to Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance ceremony because I am a huge fan of the player, and how he has always conducted himself in every interview or show I have seen him on.

    I’m not trying to take away from the accomplishments of other MVP’s because every NBA in recent has been a model person on or off the court for the most part. But I was interested to see what KD had to say.

    And watching his speech, I am not ashamed to say it made me tear up as if I had won the award. The speech was great on so many levels.

     

    Praise For Oklahoma

    As much work as KD has done on the court for the city of Oklahoma, it’s well known that KD puts in just as much work off the court for his adopted community. KD has helped victims of terrible tornadoes that ravaged OKC and the middle of the country.

    He gave money, he made sure there was awareness to the situation on a national level, and most importantly he gave up his time to help. None of those things have gone unnoticed in the Oklahoma City Community and no one was happier to see him win than the Thunder fans.

    After the entire Mr. Unreliable headline (which he briefly jokes about in the video) in the Oklahoman, the town let their MVP know over and over again that they loved him. Billboards, phone calls, newspaper ads, showing up to the MVP speech, everything. 

    KD seems to genuinely love his adopted city, and the city that has adopted him seems to genuinely feel the same. It’s a great match and it is one I would love to see for a long time.

     

    Acknowledgement of Coach Scott Brooks and His Thunder Teammates 

    The MVP trophy is an individual award but a player can’t win the award unless his team has played well enough to warrant a spot in the playoffs.

    The Thunder were amazing this season as a unit, and that was even with their second in command Russell Westbrook going down through injury.

    So many players stepped up in Russell’s absence and although Durant was the obvious catalyst behind it, his teammates helped every second of his MVP journey and he knew it. For him to take time out to thank every single player was such a class act by Durant.

    He knew it would take up a lot of time, but it’s displays like that which makes present and future teammates willing to run through a wall for him. 

    His praise for Scott Brooks was exactly the same. Brooks has helped Durant grow every step of the way.

    Durant knows people criticize Brooks and his offense and there are rumors that had the Thunder been bounced out of round 1 Brooks was as good as gone. How accurate that is only General Manager Sam Presti knows, but the Thunder advanced and still have difficult tests in front of them.

    Durant made sure to praise his coach and rightly so. They look to have an amazing relationship and I hope the two of them can raise a trophy together sooner than later.

     

    The Embattled Second-in-Command Russell Westbrook 

    Courtesy of nba.com

    As much recent flak as Scott Brooks has been taking as Thunder coach, no one takes as much criticism as Russell Westbrook.

    When anything goes wrong on the Thunder, it’s usually blamed on Russell or on Brooks, but mostly Russell.

    And I am sure as steely as Russell’s demeanor is on the court, he’s only human so the criticism must get to him on some level.

    And if anyone knows that it must be Durant. Durant made sure to single out his brother in arms and let the world knows he has Russy’s back. That was necessary.

    Because when the Mr. Unreliable headline came out Russell Westbrook was as vocal as anyone else in Durant’s life how the headline was a sham and the Oklahoman was out of line.

    The two of them have defended each other from the start and until they eventually part ways, that will never change. As the team is presently constructed the Thunder cannot win without the two of them working seamlessly as a partnership.

    They both know it, and I think they genuinely respect each other and have an annoying brother type relationship that anyone with annoying little brothers (like mine) has.

    That dynamic is a strange one, but with the right coaching tweaks and growth, that partnership can blossom into the Shaq and Kobe or Michael and Scottie partnerships that bore so much fruit in the past.

    There is still time for these two to grow and become what everyone thought they could become when they reached the 2011 NBA Final together. And the speech showed they both know it.

     

    Mama Durant and The Greatness that is Mothers

    I won’t say much about this portion. This is honestly something you must watch for yourself and just sit back and take it all in. I won’t paraphrase; I will not quote this part of his acceptance speech, nothing.

    This is 2 minutes of what every man who loves his mother feels about his mother. Unconditional love and admiration. Sons would do anything for our mothers because of the sacrifices our mothers have made for us from day one.

    I know without my mother nothing I have ever accomplished in life would be possible. And anything I will continue to accomplish will not be possible without her behind me.

    This was an excellent way to close the acceptance speech by Durant and his mother deserved every bit of applause and praise she got from her special son.

    It was excellent speech from the Association’s MVP. Durant is class personified on and off the court, and the speech will only enhance his growing legend. Great work Kevin Durant, good luck in all your endeavors, and may you lift this trophy many times over. 

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