Washington Post: Kevin Durant’s postseason ride was a family affair

By Michael Lee, Washington Post

Oklahoma City — Moments after taking ownership for having “let the city down” in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s disastrous loss in Monday’s Game 4 against Dallas, Kevin Durant walked back onto the court, his head held high, and quickly hugged his grandmother, Barbara Davis, and then his mother. Before Durant could sneak away, Wanda Pratt brought her son in closer and whispered into his left ear: “Don’t put this all on yourself. Keep playing. Keep being you.”

Durant nodded without saying a word, then walked away, hands clinging to the straps of his backpack, without acknowledging his father, Wayne Pratt, his brother, Tony, his representatives, Aaron and Eric Goodwin, and other close friends and associates. His season would officially end two nights later in Dallas.

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espnW: Kevin Durant’s secret weapon: Mom


Though she’s often seen dancing at Thunder games, sometimes Kevin Durant’s mom, Wanda Pratt, feels the playoff pressure too.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The situation was tense and couldn’t have been bigger.

Kevin Durant, the focus of more than 18,000 fans in Oklahoma City Arena and millions more on national TV, was concentrating during the critical fourth quarter of Game 7 of the second round of the NBA playoffs.

His team wins, and it advances in the playoffs. Lose, and the season is over.

“The biggest game of my life,” Durant said. “I was focused. I promise, I was locked in.”

Then he saw his mom in the arena and laughed.

Across the court, but clearly in another world, Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, was dancing. Her moves were captured for all to see on the giant video screen, and even her superstar son couldn’t help but smile.

“It relaxed me,” he said. “She’s been doing that my whole life.”

Durant and the Thunder went on to win the game against Memphis and now are in the Western Conference finals, facing Dallas for the right to play for the NBA title. The tension is back for Durant and his teammates, who are down 3-1 to the Mavericks with Game 5 tonight in Dallas.

Durant takes things in comfortable stride, from playing the game to dealing with fans, teammates and the media, thanks to his mom.

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Wanda Pratt on raising NBA star, Kevin Durant

Check out this episode of Gatorade BECOME and meet Kevin Durant’s mom, Wanda Pratt. Raising her sons as a single mom in a tough neighborhood was difficult, but sports gave them the outlet they needed to stay out of trouble. Hear how Wanda did it and how proud she is of her sons today.

Video: Kevin Durant Talks About His Mother’s Influence on his Success

During the Thunder’s recent Nationally televised game against the Miami Heat, ABC played an interview with KD talking about the influence his Mother has had on his successful career. Take a look at the video below:

ESPN.com: Kevin Durant Led in Right Direction by His Mother

Take a look at this piece from ESPN.com on the influence Kevin’s mom Wanda Pratt has had on his basketball career.

Before he had even reached the age of 10, Kevin Durant had settled on his future profession.

He wanted to be an NBA player. It was that simple.

So he sat down his mother, Wanda Pratt, to make his plans known.

Pratt, a single parent of two for most of Durant’s childhood, did what any mother would, promising to help him any way she could. But even Durant wasn’t prepared for how far Pratt was willing go.

She enlisted a family friend, Taras “Stink” Brown, to help with the physical part; Brown would run a young Durant ragged with endless amounts of sprints and suicides up and down hills in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md.

Pratt, meanwhile, would take care of the drive — both by carting Durant and his older brother, Tony, to practices upon practices and by making sure he stayed focused.

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My Night at the March of Dimes Sports Headliner Awards Banquet

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What’s good everyone? I hope you all are having a great day today!

We’ve had a couple of tough, close losses this week. But with the playoffs around the corner, we have to just keep playing as hard as we can. We have another big game against Phoenix tonight, so make sure to tune in or come out to the game and support us. My boy Jared Dudley is on the Suns, and he’s become one of the tougher defenders in the NBA, so it definitely should be a battle out there.

Thursday was a busy day for me. After a light practice in the morning, I slipped into a nice black suit, put on a black tie and made my way to downtown Oklahoma City at night for an award I received from the March of Dimes at their Sports Headliner banquet.

The banquet was held at the Skirvin Hotel, which some opposing teams have said is haunted, but either way it’s a real classy spot. And this was a real nice awards banquet.

First of all, I was kind of shocked when I heard that I was being named the Sports Headliner of the Year. I’ve only been here for a year and a half and they’re already starting to recognize me. But man, it felt good.

There’s so many great teams and players and coaches to come through here and to be named one of them is just an honor for me. It’s one of those awards that I can say I got because the state of Oklahoma has embraced me since day one. Yeah, I went to the University of Texas but Oklahomans quickly embraced me and I was just humbled to be there.

My mom and my grandmother came and my brothers too, so it was great to have them around for support. My mom even got to present me with the award, and that’s something that’s never happened before. I know it meant a lot to her as well.

Well, I just want to thank everybody who’s supported me and my teammates ever since we got to Oklahoma City. Just make sure you root for us the rest of the season!

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Fans: Be sure to check out Kevin on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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