We know Kevin Durant can take over on the basketball court, but over the past few days he's shown more than a little ability to control our heartstrings. On Tuesday, the Thunder superstar received his widely predicted NBA MVP award for the 2013-14 season at a press conference in Oklahoma City. Yet it was not a mere media session — Durant spoke with great emotion about his mother, his teammates, and everyone else who has helped him become one of the best athletes in the world.
On Wednesday night, Durant had yet another moment in the awards spotlight. Before Game 2 of the Thunder's second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, NBA commissioner Adam Silver presented Durant with the trophy in front of a sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena. You can watch the moment below (via For The Win):
According to J.A. Adande of ESPN.com, the crowd drowned out Silver:
The presentation didn't just involve the standard words of commendation from Silver and Durant thanking fans yet again. It was also preceded by a special video from the citizens of Oklahoma City. The clip presents Durant as not just a great basketball player, but a local institution and community leader, as well:
These statements are a far cry from the controversial headline of "Mr. Unreliable" published when the Thunder were on the brink of elimination against the Memphis Grizzlies. Of course, they're also richly deserved. After his rookie season as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics, Durant has become one of Oklahoma's most recognizable residents and the key employee of the state's only professional major professional sports team.
Clearly, both athlete and fan base respect each other sincerely. Like any highly regarded basketball player, Durant may not play for the team forever, because circumstances often change. But it's clearly a meaningful partnership between city and star.
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