Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant took the NBA's MVP trophy Tuesday, but his mother Wanda Pratt received the real honor.
The mother of the Thunder star watched her 25-year-old give a touching tribute Tuesday after winning his first league MVP award.
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"I don't think you know what you did," Durant said through tears to Pratt, who was seated in the front row. "You had my brother when you were 18 years old. Three years later, I came out. The odds were stacked against us. A single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old ..."
"We weren'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 thanked each of his teammates by name, from Russell Westbrook to Grant Jerrett, and related anecdotes about why each mattered to him. He cited his coaches and family members, the entire Thunder organization, the city. He even mentioned The Oklahoman newspaper for calling him "Mr. Unreliable."
Pratt said the gravity of Durant winning the award hadn't really hit her until after her son's remarks, when members the crowd in attendance gave him a standing ovation.
"I'm just kind of emotional about this day because he just worked so hard," Pratt told Yahoo Sports
. "He started working at this early, when he was 9 years old. To see it all come together for him, I'm just excited for him.
"It really goes back to what Kevin puts in. I'm sure there are so many guys in the league that work extremely hard every day. But I know how hard he works, I know his heart, I know what he gave early on in the early days, and how many sacrifices he made through the years to even prepare for this moment," she continued.
The moving speech was quickly making its way around the Internet.
Durant, a seven-year NBA veteran, collected 119 of 125 first-place votes and 1,232 total points to beat out four-time winner LeBron James, who received the other six first-place votes.
"I'm grateful for all the voters that voted his way, but I'm going to have to talk to the other six, though," Pratt told Yahoo.
Durant averaged 32 points and a career-high 5.5 assists per game, and became the first NBA player to win the scoring title and the MVP in the same season since Philadelphia 76ers' guard Allen Iverson in 2001. The Thunder went 59-23 during the regular season, but trail the Los Angeles Clippers 0-1 in the Finals.
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