You’ve probably already heard the news that Kevin Durant won his first MVP award yesterday by taking 119 of 124 first place votes. Now we can argue whether he deserved it or if the writers who vote for the award just thought it was too boring to give LeBron James another on. One thing we can’t debate is that Kevin Durant is a very impressive and inspiring human being. If you haven’t taken the time to listen to his acceptance speech from yesterday afternoon, do yourself a favor and make time for it today.
In a time where many believe athletes should not be role models, where arrests, or failed drug tests or stories of infidelity are common place in the sports news, Kevin Durant is definitely an athlete people should look at for inspiration.
Kevin Durant is not a boisterous person. He usually lets teammates do a lot if the talking. But on Tuesday afternoon he spoke for 28 minutes m and delivered an acceptance speech rarely seen. He was humble and grateful. He was passionate and direct. If you listen to his speech and don’t get a little choked up you may in fact be a robot. He thanked his coaches and teammates, he thanked his family and friends. That’s all par for the course. What sticks out is the fact that he thanked every member of the Thunder training staff by name . He thanked the back of house employees that most athletes probably see every day don’t take a second look at. He was brought to tears when talking about his relationship with Caron Butler who he has only known and been teammates with since March. There was nothing fake about about him. Durant spoke with honestly and passion that will touch anyone who listens to his speech.
If you’re not an emotional person and were not touched by his passion through the first 95% of the speech, the second he begins talking about his mother everything will change. I defy you to listen to how he thanks Wanda Pratt (mom to him) and not feel a little something collecting in your tear ducts.
On the court he is proof that athletes can be great without being ruthless. Off the court he has proven that even though he is all over Sports Center and Nike adds it is still ok to be inspired by and look up to an athlete.
He has always been looked at as a quiet star, probably underrated because he doesn’t like the be the typical alpha-male. My hope is that Tuesday afternoon’s speech gets the publicity across the North American sports landscape it deserves and that people can finally see that the there are still humble, passionate and inspirational men in sports.
Congrats KD, hopefully you get a platform to inspire like this more often.