Kevin Durant simply couldn't keep in his emotions on his way to the locker room after the Miami Heat blew out his Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 to win the 2012 NBA championship.
On his way to visitors' locker room, the 23-year-old hugged several Thunder staffers and team owner Clay Bennett. After Bennet, Durant moved on to his parents.
Durant appeared to break down in tears just as he hugged his mother, Wanda Pratt, and father, Wayne. The vanquished Thunder star held onto them for 20 seconds before giving his mother a kiss on the cheek and making his way to the locker room with tears in his eyes.
"It hurts. We're all brothers on this team. It hurts to go out like this," Durant said after the game, via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. "Everyone is coming back this summer and working extremely hard. We have to keep working. Those guys are really good on defense. I wouldn't admit it during the series, but those guys are really good."
Durant, a three-time scoring champion, averaged 30.6 points in the Finals, but Oklahoma City came up short in four straight games after winning Game 1. He led OKC to the postseason for the first time in 2009-10 (lost to the Lakers in the first round). He led OKC to the Western Conference Finals in 2010-11 (lost to the Mavericks). And he led OKC to the NBA Finals this season. Given the ages of the team's core players, the Thunder seem equipped to return. Will Durant's emotion motivate him to continue improving?