On Tuesday, Oklahoma City Thunder’s star Kevin Durant accepted the NBA’s 2013-14 Most Valuable Player award, thanking his family, his teammates and the entire Thunder organization. The 25-year-old Durant spoke for 20 minutes, thanking everyone that has inspired and supported him throughout his career from his teammates to his mom.
During the ceremony in Oklahoma City, Durant fought back tears on multiple occasions while sharing the struggles his family endured growing up in Prince George’s County, a Maryland suburb just outside of Washington D.C. In a powerful yet emotional speech, Durant talked about his childhood, “Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here, we moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves,” he said. “One my best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other, because we thought we made it.”
As Durant tearfully thanked his teammates and coaches for supporting him along his career, he then quickly turned and thanked the Thunder’s fans for all their support even when the team loses. The most inspiring and touching moments came at the end as he thanked his mother. While choking back tears, Durant turned to his mother and said, “You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertimes, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups, screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old,” he continued. “We wasn’t supposed to be here. You made us believe, you kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”
Durant’s acceptance MVP speech is considered by far one of the most sincere and heartfelt speeches ever shared by a professional athlete. I truly salute Durant for sharing his life struggles with us all.