NEW YORK -- Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder may seem out of place among top athletes. On Tuesday, after winning the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, Durant spoke, not of himself, but about coaches, teammates and, especially, the person most responsible for his success.
"When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate,"
Durant said to his mother. "You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP."
Wanda Pratt raised Durant as a single mother of two. When he was 10 years old, Durant told her he wanted to play in the pros. Wanda's response was pure, tough love.
"You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups," Durant said in his speech. "Screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old."
CBS News sat down with them for "60 Minutes Sports" on Showtime last fall.
"I remember the looks when I would walk into the gym," Pratt said. "He would be like, 'Aw, here she comes.' If the coach said, 'Kevin, do 25 crab walks,' I would be like, 'No, I think maybe you should do 75.' If he said, 'Fifty runs up Hunt's Hill,' I said, 'Well, I think you could do 100.' Now, I'm like, 'Wow, that was cruelty.'"
The cruelty paid off Tuesday. It was Durant's first MVP, after finishing second to LeBron James three times.
Finishing second has been a frustrating theme for Durant. His biggest disappointment was when his team lost the NBA championship in 2012 to James' Miami Heat. With the world watching, he still needed his mother's shoulder.
"A lot of people got on my crying in front of -- on national TV," Durant told "60 Minutes Sports" of the long hug he gave his mother after the loss two years ago. "But when you want something that bad, it was just like, I didn't care."
And he didn't care who saw Tuesday night, either.
"I've been through the toughest times with my family, but I'm still standing," Durant said Tuesday.
He is finally the best in the NBA, but he was always MVP in his mother's eyes.