Gratitude & grace: NBA’s new MVP pours out his heart, thanks his mom

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Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant won his first NBA MVP award on Tuesday. But it’s his reaction to the award that has everyone talking.

This is not a sports story. This is a story about gratitude and grace. Listen to what Durant, who was raised by a single mom, had to say to his mother while cameras from across the world were rolling.

Durant, a 6-foot-9 forward, won his fourth scoring title in five years by averaging 32 points per game. While three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook was out of the lineup following his most recent knee surgery, Durant averaged 35 points and 6.3 assists as the Thunder went 20-7 and remained among the league’s elite.

Durant’s run of 41 consecutive games with at least 25 points was the third-longest streak in NBA history.

Durant finished second to Miami’s LeBron James the previous two years. This year, Durant finished with 119 first-place votes. James was second with six first-place votes and Blake Griffin was third.