Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant’s heartfelt MVP acceptance speech is making waves worldwide, including parts of Africa where some of his teammates come from.

Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania), Serge Ibaka (Republic of Congo/Spain) and Thabo Sefolosha (Switzerland/South Africa) were mentioned in Durant’s remarkable speech.

Durant received the league’s top individual honour on Tuesday, earning 119 the 125 first-place votes ahead of Miami Heat’s LeBron James, who won four of the last six MVP awards.

Although the MVP award recognises the regular season achievement, the 25-year-old reminded everyone that the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season is not over yet as they square off against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

During his acceptance speech, Durant highlighted his teammates’ efforts for making him a better player, but the moment of night was reserved for last when the Thunder’s star recalled his hard childhood in Washington DC, under his single mother Wanda Pratt, the real winner of the night.

“We weren’t supposed to be here,” Durant addressed to his mother. “You made us believe. You kept us off the streets, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP,” Durant said of his mother.

Apart from his emotion-filled speech, Durant joked, acknowledged teammates, coaching staff, the Thunder organisation and team fans.

The Thunder became a powerhouse in the West in the past few seasons, and Durant expressed gratitude for his fellow Thunders.

We recall how Durant acknowledged his African teammates.

Sefolosha, the motivator

“Thabo. When you came to the team, I didn’t know if you spoke English or not, I didn’t know how to approach you. You were always so quiet, but I can tell that you were about the team first. You came in. You wanted to work from Day 1. You also believed in me. You always gave me confidence. When I am having a tough stretch you always come to me, hit me on my chest. Just tell me, “Let’s Go,” and I know what that means from you, and I appreciate you so much, man.

You being here, being part of this journey with me, means a lot. I thank you.”

Sefolosha twitted: “Congratulations @KDTrey5. Amazing season. U deserve it. Great player teammate and friend #NBAMVP #KiaMVP @NBAMVP.

Ibaka, the brother

“Serge! My ex next door neighbour. You still can’t speak English, but I know what you are talking about. Our relationship is definitely like a brother relationship where I squared up with you one day in practice, ready to fight you, then, as soon as we got back in the locker room, we were hugging we were talking about how we were going to be better next game.

When Russell was out you stepped your game up for me, for the team. There were nights where you made me look better than what I am. You cleaned up so many of our mistakes, and we appreciate that. From everybody on the team, I know we appreciate that. From everybody on the team, I know we appreciate that. I thank you so much for giving me confidence when I didn’t have it. For always being there when I wanted to talk to you when I wanted to call, for arguing with all the time, for making me better and realise that I am not always right, Thank you man, I appreciate you. “

Ibaka twitted – “Congrats to my bro @kdtrey5 for this very well deserved MVP award.”

On Thabeet

“I can see Hasheem smiling at me. At 7’3″, with small pants on. That’ll change my day.

The Thunder will face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal.



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