(ABC NEWS) – The 2017 NBA Championship title was a long-awaited, first-time title for finals MVP Kevin Durant.
“I’ve been praying for a champagne shower in the locker room for a long time and the experience, man, is next level,” the Golden State Warriors star told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes in an interview after the 129-120 win Monday night.
Durant had 39 points in the game-five win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and won the finals MVP trophy.
The former Oklahoma City Thunder forward, 28, who had never won a title, said he has been waiting for this moment as long as he can remember. “Since I was 10 or 11-years-old, watching the finals as a kid and seeing how important it is to basketball,” Durant said. “I have achieved a lot of individual success in this league but this is a team sport. I’m not playing golf, I’m not playing tennis. This is a team sport and I just try and do my best with the team.”
In his first season with the Warriors, Durant led the team to a nearly perfect postseason and joined the ranks among one of history’s greatest teams, all with the unwavering support of his beloved mother Wanda.
“To do something I love to do and know she knows I love it so much and she knows how much I come home at night and stress and how happy I am when I play the game,” Durant said of his mom. “To experience this with her; she knows how important it is to me. It’s something we will be talking about for the rest of our lives.”
After coming up short to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game seven last year, the Warriors got their redemption on their home court in game five to win their second title in three years over Cleveland.
“Last year we got beat by a better team. Cleveland was amazing; they earned it. They were champions and they showed that tonight how hard they fought, but this was our year and we are excited,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the result.
“I’m thrilled, man, to win a championship. I’ve been lucky in my career, this is seven: five as a player and two as a coach,” Kerr said. “I have been living right, man, just the people I have been around, the teammates I had as a player, and now the group that I coach. Come on, man, that’s ridiculous.”
From a first-time world champion to veterans with a few titles under their belt, the entire Warriors family got to celebrate an emotional NBA championship victory on their home court at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
“I’ve never experienced a championship in front of our home court and I like this one a lot better,” Warriors point guard Steph Curry said.
Monday night marked the Warriors’ first championship win at home in the Bay Area in 43 years, something all the players recognized to be extremely special.
“Now we get our — my second banner — our fifth banner as an organization and celebrate in front of our home fans in the Bay Area. This is nice, man. I can’t lie,” Curry said, joined by his wife, Ayesha, mother Sonya and two daughters, Riley and Ryan.
Durant added: “I know who I am and what I can bring to the table as a basketball player and that’s all that matters. I’m going to enjoy this championship with my team. It’s not about me at all. It’s about the group, the Golden State Warriors, the whole Bay Area that’s been supporting us since day one, believing that we can do this.”