Move over, LeBron — there's a new king of the NBA.
Yesterday, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant was named the NBA's 2013-14 Most Valuable Player. It's KD's first MVP after finishing second in voting in 2012 and 2013 behind LeBron. This year, Durant earned 119 first-place votes out of a possible 125. James came in second and Blake Griffin of the Clippers was third. Joakim Noah (Bulls) and James Harden (Rockets) rounded out the top five.
Durant was far and away the best player on the court this season. He had a career-high 32 points per game, and averaged 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He put up a career high 54 points on the Warriors, had a 51-point game against the Raptors, and over the course of 41 straight games, Durant scored at least 25 points. That streak broke a record previously held by Michael Jordan.
More importantly, Durant held an OKC team together while the Thunder's other superstar, Russell Westbrook, fought through injuries. Behind Durant, Oklahoma City finished the season second in the Western Conference with a 59-23 record.
In his acceptance speech yesterday, Durant thanked his teammates for their support. But he saved the most heartfelt moments of his speech for his mom, Wanda Pratt. "We weren't supposed to be here. You made us believe," he said. "You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs. You put food on the table. When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP."
Durant's speech is pretty great, and you can watch all of it below:
Photo: Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo
Kevin Durant Named 2013-14 NBA MVP
In The Mag This Month