Stuck in traffic on the way to an assignment Tuesday, I tuned in to the radio.
What I heard moved me.
It was coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant accepting his NBA Most Valuable Player trophy, the first of many he will take home throughout his career.
As a casual Thunder fan, I can’t recall a single shot Durant made this season. But I will take to my grave the impression he made on me today.
He was gracious. He was appreciative. He was humble. And he was thankful.
One-by-one, he singled out teammates and coaches and family who had helped him.
He named names and related stories of motivation, devotion, emotion. I must have heard him say “I love you” two dozen times, but I never got tired of it.
The sincerity in his voice was palpable.
“When something good happens to you…I tend to look back to what brought me here,” he said.
Durant spoke of a grandmother who made him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
He remembered his unwed mother, who had two kids by the time she was 21. She was his cheerleader, his rock, his inspiration.
Durant said she went to bed hungry so her kids didn’t have to.
“You’re the real MVP,” he said of his mom.
Durant spoke for some 26 minutes. I could have listened for two hours.
Bravo, Kevin. You’re an Oklahoma treasure.