Wanda Pratt would hand her baby boy $20 and send him on his way.
The kid could spend the money however he saw fit, but it was all mom could dole out for the week.
"I had to save it up and not buy things that I didn't need," said Kevin Durant.
"That's how I learned to manage my money back then."
Roughly 10 years later, Durant still is applying those same money-management skills — even as he sits on the brink of signing a multi-million dollar contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal is likely to pay Durant more than $80 million over five years, offering unprecedented riches to even the NBA's newest superstar.
But Durant doesn't seem fazed by the dollar signs. And it's the exact type of character mom aimed to instill through the $20 per week allowance.
"I didn't know he remembered that," Pratt said, admittedly having forgotten herself. "But it makes me proud that he's taken something, just a small lesson that I was trying to give him to show him the importance of the value of money and it has had a lasting impact on him. That's really special to me, and that was the effect that I wanted. I didn't know that it was going to be in this realm of course, but I'm quite proud."
In an age where fame and fortune has turned some celebrities into prima donnas, Durant seems as down-to-Earth as ever. He carries himself with the same humility as he did when he was a wide-eyed rookie in Seattle.
Money, he says, would be the last thing that would change him.
"I never had (a lot of) money when I was growing up," Durant said. "So to make it into the league first of all was a big change for me. So I don't think if I get an extension it'll change.
"And I want to be the greatest. I don't just want to play for the money. The money doesn't really mean too much to me. I just want to be one of the best ever and win. That's what I'm still working for."
It helps that Durant came into the NBA with more money than he knew what to do with. As the No. 2 overall pick, Durant's rookie contract guaranteed him more than $18 million over four years. Even before signing his rookie deal, Nike paid him handsomely to say the least — a $60 million contract over seven years that came with a shiny $10 million signing bonus. Not to mention the $1 million signing bonus Durant received from Upper Deck.
"I never really was big on money to be honest with you," Durant said. "So I'm not a guy that when I got drafted I went to go buy a lot of different things just because I never had them before. I felt the same. I felt regular. I'm sure if I get a contract I'll feel the same way."