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Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant's MVP ceremony an emotional event

On the day reserved for Durant to finally embrace his individual achievements, he endeared himself even more to the masses by unexpectedly displaying more humility. In a surprising but sensational 26-minute acceptance speech, Durant took time to thank those closest to him.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 6, 2014

The sign hugging more than half the front of the building was outdated.

Expired for six hours.

“OKC’s MVP,” read the deep blue banner, which featured Kevin Durant’s larger-than-life likeness.

Sorry, Oklahoma City.

You’ll have to share him now.

By the time Durant walked inside the old Oklahoma City Thunder practice facility Tuesday afternoon, he did so as the NBA’s newest Most Valuable Player.

The league officially crowned Durant with his first career MVP award after he garnered 119 of a possible 125 first-place votes from writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, as well as a fan vote conducted on NBA.com.

A long-awaited ceremony to honor Durant turned into a communal celebration. Dignitaries from Gov. Mary Fallin to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett had front-row seats. Select season-ticket holders were on hand to see history. And kids from a local Boys & Girls Club enjoyed a childhood moment they won’t soon forget.

That was just inside. About 1,000 more fans watched the proceedings from outside the warehouse-style facility.

They all witnessed an emotional event that left those in attendance and many others watching around the world more than a little misty-eyed.

No one grew more emotional than Durant himself, the man who once proclaimed he was tired of finishing second and finally broke through after three second-place finishes in MVP voting in the past four seasons.

But on the day reserved for Durant to finally embrace his individual achievements, he endeared himself even more to the masses by unexpectedly displaying more humility.

In a surprising but sensational 26-minute acceptance speech, Durant took time to thank those closest to him.

“When something good happens to you…I tend to look back to what brought me here,” Durant said.

And so Durant delivered a flawless and heartfelt address without notes or cues.

It was his moment and he owned it.

He was introspective and insightful, funny and frank.

He smiled. He cried. He laughed.

“I just went up there and let it all out,” Durant said. “I think I did a good job of it.”

From the moment he walked through the crowd to the tune of “Thunderstruck” and climbed his gangly frame on stage, Durant couldn’t control his emotions. As he took his seat in front of teammates and assistant coaches, and alongside Thunder coach Scott Brooks, general manager Sam Presti and Kia Motors executive Percy Vaughn, Durant tried to cover up his smile. No chance.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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