An emotional Kevin Durant thanked friends and family during his MVP acceptance speech Tuesday night. The Oklahoma City Thunder star took time to thank each of his teammates, including former Celtic Kendrick Perkins.
“Perk, from the minute you got here—I hated you before you got here—but the moment you got here, man, you just changed my whole perception of you,” said Durant, fighting back tears. “Just one of the best teammates I ever had, man. I just thank you so much. The late night calls, after tough games. You texting me, telling me I’m the MVP. That meant a lot to me, man. Thank you.”
Perkins was traded to the Thunder during the 2010-2011 season as part of a deal that included forward Jeff Green. The defensive-minded center was a fan favorite in Boston.
The 25-year-old Durant also broke down talking about his youth, when his family moved from place to place.
“I come from a small county outside of Washington DC called [Prince George] County, and me, my mom, my brother, we moved so many different places growing up, and it felt like a box. It felt like there was no getting out,” said Durant.
He confessed that his dream was to become a rec league coach, because he never thought he’d become a superstar player in college and the pros.
“So many people believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” he said. “I’ve been through the toughest times with my family, but I’m still standing.”