Kevin Durant Thanks Thunder's NBA D-League Alums in MVP Speech

By all accounts, Kevin Durant delivered one of the most moving and memorable acceptance speeches ever for an NBA award -- or any league's award, for that matter -- in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. And much of what made it so special was his genuine appreciation of every person involved in helping him become the MVP, from his mother to superstar sidekick Russell Westbrook to, yes, the Thunder's five Tulsa 66ers alums.

"I can't forget about my young guys," Durant said. "We had a group text after Game 5 and I forgot to put my young guys in there and they felt some type of way about it. So Jeremy, Perry, Andre, Steven, Reggie, Grant: You guys make me so much better without even knowing, man. Because I know I set an example for you.

"I know I have my bad days and I say some words I'm not supposed to say sometimes, but when I need an extra push, you guys are there, man. I appreciate that. I appreciate that because I'm not always the best leader, I'm not always the best player, I don't always shoot the best in the games, but our little handshakes we do before the games, that gets me going."

Here's what KD had to say about each of the former 66ers:


"You're one of my favorite teammates ever and I thank you so much, man. Your spirit, just your smile, means a lot to me."


"Knowing that you guys look up to me, I can help you out so much; I can pull you to the side when we're working out. And just as much as you think I'm making you better, you elevate my game."


"When I first met you, you didn't say two words to me. I didn't know who you were. But we instantly clicked and you became one of my best friends, man. Words can't explain how much I care about you and your well-being, how you're feeling -- not even just basketball, but off the court. I always make sure you're alright. [You're] such a humble person and you do everything for the team. You always put yourself last and I learn a lot from you. Thank you, man. Thank you."


"When we drafted you, once again I didn't know who you were. But when we got together during the summertime, I saw how talented you were, I saw how much you were willing to learn, and I wanted to be on point every single day just because I knew you were watching me. And I thank you for your support -- just your kind heart, your spirit, everything, man. I appreciate you. Even though you've been here for a few weeks, you mean so much to our team. I'm glad you're a part of it."