Thunder's Durant topples James to capture MVP award

Tue May 6, 2014 8:09pm EDT
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May 6 (Reuters) - A humbled Kevin Durant heaped praise on his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates and called his mother the true MVP after winning the National Basketball Association's top individual honor on Tuesday.

With his mother looking on proudly from the audience and backed on stage by his Thunder teammates, Durant received the Most Valuable Player award for the first time in his seven-year career after capturing his fourth scoring title in five seasons.

In a moving acceptance speech, the 25-year-old forward called his achievement a team award but left no doubt who was most responsible for his success.

"My mom," started Durant, unable to choke back his tears. "I don't think you know what you gave.

"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.

"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," added Durant as the crowd responded with a rousing standing ovation.

Durant received 119 first-place votes from a total of 124 votes cast by sportswriters and broadcasters in North America plus one special fan vote to bring Miami Heat forward LeBron James's two-year reign as MVP to an end.   Continued...

May 5, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) attempts a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (22) during the third quarter in game one of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports