Thunder forward Kevin Durant accepted the first MVP award of his career in a ceremony in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Durant spoke for more than 10 minutes, thanking each of his teammates individually and fighting back tears on multiple occasions.
MAHONEY: Counting on greatness: Appreciating Durant's astonishing MVP Climb
Here's a sampling of some of his best lines...
- On his upbringing: "I come from a small county outside Washington D.C., called PG County. Me, my mom and my brother moved so many different places growing up. It felt like a box, it felt like there was no getting out. My dream was to become a rec league coach. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to stay home and help the kids out."
- On Hasheem Thabeet: "I could walk in and have a terrible day and I could see Hasheem smiling at me, at 7-foot-3 with small pants on. That would change my day."
- On Kendrick Perkins: "I hated you before you got here. But the moment you got here, you changed my whole perception of you."
- On Serge Ibaka: "You still can't speak English but I know what you're talking about. Our relationship is definitely a brother relationship. I squared up with you one day at practice. As soon as we got back in the locker room, we were hugging."
- On his younger teammates: "I can't forget about my young guys. 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."
- On Reggie Jackson: "When I first met you, you didn't say two words to me. I didn't know who you were, but we instantly clicked. You became one of my best friends."
- On Steven Adams: "Big Kiwi. I didn't know who you were when you got here but you made me realize with the screens you set in practice, elbow me when I come down the lane."
- On Russell Westbrook: "I know you guys think I forgot Russ. I can speak all night about Russell. An emotional guy who will run through a wall for me. I don't take him for granted. There's days I just want to tackle you and tell you to snap out of it sometimes, but I know there are days that you want to do the same to me. I love you, man, I love you. A lot of people put unfair criticism on you as a player. I'm the first to have your back through it all. Stay the person you are, everybody loves you here. I love you. ... You're an MVP caliber player, it's a blessing to play with you."
- On Thunder's coaches: "I know there's days you look at that film and want to kill me. Not playing defense, taking bad shots, getting too many techs. But you always believe that I can be the guy, through the tough times, you guys never left my side."
- On his mother: "One my best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other. We thought we made it. ... You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups. Screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old ... When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP.
Video via The Oklahoman
ROUNDTABLE: Best available NBA head coach?
More SI.com NBA playoff coverage
2014 NBA playoffs schedule, results | Series predictions| Season awards
PREVIEWS: Pacers-Wizards | Heat-Nets | Spurs-Blazers | Thunder-Clippers
ROUNDTABLE: Best matchup of the second round? | Biggest disappointment
WATCH: Relive the best moments from the first round | Lillard’s series-winner
STERLING COVERAGE: Sterling, NBA set for epic legal battle | Impact on Clips?
PHOTOS: Greatest upsets
| NBA playoffs fashion
| Anti-Sterling signs, shirts