Kevin Durant was made a member of the State of Oklahoma’s Hall-of-Fame on Thursday night in Tulsa. Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder’s corner stone player of the team and future basketball Hall-of-Famer was enshrined for his accomplishments in being a true leader not only in basketball but in his everyday accomplishment as an outstanding figure head for the State since his arrival seven years ago. Congratulations to the most recognized Oklahoman in the world. Fellow Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook introduced Durant at the ceremony.
From the Thunder home site at: http://www.nba.com/thunder/news/durantOKHOF_151119
“Growing up here as teenager to a young man, I’ve been through a lot here,” Durant said of his career, and life, thus far in Oklahoma. “It’s just molded me into who I am and everything I’ve done. Whether it’s just letting people know where I live or who I play for, it’s all from the heart. I’ve been through so much being here and it feels great to be in the Hall of Fame.”
“It means so much to me because this is about Oklahoma. Kevin has truly transformed who we are,” Bennett said. “He’s brought so much pride, so much energy and has brought so much to young people. I think it’s fantastic that this organization recognized him. He’s so very deserving. My heart is bursting. I could not be more proud.”
A special guest was also on hand for the ceremony, as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spent the evening showing his support for Durant while sitting next to Mr. Bennett and Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Silver was thrilled by the chance to show Durant, the Thunder and the Oklahoma community how much the NBA values them all.
“It shows what an enormous impact he’s had over a relatively short time,” Silver said. “I travel the world on behalf of the NBA. When you say Oklahoma, you think Kevin Durant. That’s the way it should be. It makes me really proud to be associated with him and the league.”
“The first thing that comes to mind is how closely intertwined this team is with the Oklahoma City community and the entire state,” Silver continued. “It’s what you love to see as a commissioner of a league, when a team is so integral to the community.”
Out of all of the candidates that Durant could have selected to introduce him, he chose one of the Thunder teammates he’s played with the longest – Russell Westbrook. With Thunder staffers and all of their teammates and coaches sitting a few feet away, the duo shared a moment on stage together as Westbrook explained how inspirational Durant has been as a teammate and friend.
“It’s something that doesn’t come around too often,” Westbrook said. “Kevin is one of those special guys, especially in Oklahoma. He’s done so much for the city and the state.”
The relentlessness with which he attacks his profession, the conscientiousness with which he approaches his charitable endeavors and the grace he displays in his daily life all mix together to form who Durant is. On Thursday night, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame honored Durant because of their recognition of all of those aspects of his personality. It should be no surprise, however, that to Durant this acknowledgement signals how much more he’s still capable of providing, both on and off the floor.
“I feel like I can do a lot more,” Durant said. “I feel like I’ve got a long ways to go, but it’s still a great honor and I’m just honored to be here. I’m happy to represent my family and where I come from as well. It’s an amazing day.”
Kevin Durant’s Thunder teammates and coaches join him at Oklahoma Hall of Fame induction. “It feels good to know you have a family outside of your own family to support you.” Photo by Layne Murdoch | NBAE via Getty Images
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Photo by Layne Murdoch | NBAE via Getty Imageshot