Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant wins first NBA MVP award (video)
It was a somewhat of a long time coming, but Oklahoma City Thunder superstar has snagged his first career MVP award on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com.
Durant’s ascension to the league’s most valuable player came on the heels of the 6-foot-9 forward winning his fourth scoring title in the five seasons.
Durant had a phenomenal season, averaging 32.0 points per game along with 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists while shooting 50.5% and 39.1% from the field and behind the three-point line, respectively.
The Thunder star led his team to a 59-23 regular season record and garnered 119 first-place votes. LeBron James finished second, taking six first-place votes. Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin finished third, with Chicago Bulls big man Joakim Noah and Houston Rockets scoring dynamo James Harden taking the fourth and fifth places in the voting.
When it was reported Monday that Durant was set to win his first MVP award, James, who has won the last two, agreed with the voters, saying, “Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.” This statement of support from LeBron echoed his earlier sentiments about the possibility that Durant would unseat him as league MVP when the Miami Heat star said in early April that Durant has been the “most consistent” player in the league and deserved to win.
Durant’s rock-solid productivity that never took a dip throughout the season lends credence to James’ assessment. He enjoyed a historically remarkable run of consistency during the season when he scored 25 or more points in 41 straight games, the third-longest streak in league history.
The forward’s productivity has continued in the playoffs. After having a rough start that prompted The Oklahoman to dub him “Mr. Unreliable,” a shortsighted and ill-advised decision for which the paper later apologized.
Durant responded forcefully to the slight by scoring 36 points in Game 6 of its quarterfinal series with the Memphis Grizzlies and then going out and putting up 33 points in the decisive Game 7 to lead the Thunder to a 120-109 series-clinching win and a Western Conference semifinals showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The NBA has released a Phantom video highlighting the “Best of Kevin Durant’s 2013-14 season.”
Congrats to Durant.