EDMOND, Okla. — The human habit of being swayed by the moment at hand is as old as the world itself, but it was hard not to leave Kevin Durant's NBA MVP acceptance speech with the strong belief that there will never be another one like it.
The Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose made people reach for the tissues during his 2011 speech, when the point guard told personal stories about his childhood and paid touching homage to his mother as she sat just a few feet away inside the United Center. Others before him have tugged at our heartstrings and comported themselves with aplomb as well.
But by the time the Oklahoma City Thunder star was done with his 25-minute speech, done with the interview session afterward and done with the gala-like event that included hundreds of fans and Oklahoma City's mayor celebrating inside the team's old practice facility outside of town, the totality of his genuine performance will be tough to top by any measure. He thanked teammates by name, telling personal tales about each of their relationships and why they mattered to him. He thanked his coaches, talking at length about the close bond he has had with coach Scott Brooks since they came together during the Seattle SuperSonics days in 2007.
He was talking through tears long before he addressed his mother, Wanda Pratt, who raised Kevin and his brother, Tony, in a Washington D.C. suburb of Seat Pleasant, Md., and who was there in a fancy white dress on Tuesday. The video montage of Durant's charity work and unique personality had been impressive, as was the support he had waiting for him outside where all the music and games and frivolity awaited.