It's been an emotional week for Kevin Durant.
Days ago his second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder looked to be in serious trouble, heading to Memphis down three games to two and on the verge of a first-round upset. Durant was getting slammed by hometown headline writers who claimed he wasn't doing enough for his team.
Two wins and an MVP award later, Durant is in a much better place.
The 25-year-old willed his team to a series victory over the Grizzlies, scoring a combined 69 points in Games 6 and 7 while playing upwards of 42 minutes both nights.
On Tuesday, Durant was named the NBA's MVP for the first time in his career. He won in a landslide, earning 119 of 125 first place votes. The recognition caps off an unbelievable season for Durant, who led the league in scoring (32 points-per-game) while averaging 7.4 rebounds and a career-high 5.5 assists. He scored 25 points in 41 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in NBA history. Despite playing without Russell Westbrook for much of the season, Durant still led the Thunder to 59 wins.
After finishing as the runner-up to LeBron James on three occasions, the Thunder star finally had reason to celebrate. And he did not disappoint in his acceptance speech.
Known for his humble manner, Durant individually thanked each of his teammates for their contributions to his play. He defended his coach, Scott Brooks, and his sidekick, Westbrook, from the criticism that both have been subject to.
Perhaps most beautifully, he lavished praise on his mother, Wanda Pratt, for raising him and his brother in extremely difficult conditions. Pratt, Durant said, is "the real MVP."