With a heartwarming act of kindness before a recent game, Kevin Durant proved once again he is one of the most charitable and self-aware superstars alive.
Before his Oklahoma City Thunder squared off against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the 2014 MVP was introduced to 13-year-old Anthony Cupp. An eighth-grader from outside Detroit, Anthony had mowed lawns in his neighborhood to earn enough money to buy a pair of Durant's signature shoes. But shortly after purchasing the sneakers, Cupp was jumped by some older kids and had to hand over his prized kicks.
"It was horrifying," Anthony's mother, Janiesa, told reporters. "He's such a good kid. All the teachers tell me what a good kid he is in a school that struggles with discipline. What he worked so hard for was stolen for him. It was heartbreaking."
Janiesa herself has faced adversity recently. She recently had a tumor removed and is still undergoing therapy.
The Pistons heard about Anthony's misfortune and told Durant. Before the teams' matchup Sunday, Durant invited Anthony on to the floor and spoke with him. Then Durant gave the youngster two pairs of shoes -- one in Anthony's size and one in Durant's size, signed by the man himself. Durant also gave Anthony a jacket and a backpack.
13-year old Anthony Cupp of Detroit had his KDs stolen right off his feet last week. Kevin surprised him tonight. pic.twitter.com/L90ide0aCI
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 7, 2014
"We got such a big platform, man, and kids look up to us," Durant said of meeting Anthony. "To set a good example, we just have to show them that we're human, too. They look at us as superheroes sometimes. So just to sit and talk to them, ask them how their day went, ask them where they're from, make them feel like they are where they belong. We may seem untouchable, but we aren't. That's the biggest thing I wanted to show him. I'm a human just like you. I go through things just like you. Even though I play in the NBA, I'm here for you."
After meeting Anthony, Durant proceeded to put on a show. He led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting and propelled the Thunder to a 96-94 victory.