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Father's Day

Wayne Pratt: A letter to my son Kevin Durant on Father’s Day

‘Thank you for forgiving me and allowing us to have the great relationship we have today’

Father’s Day is usually a celebration of fathers. Wayne Pratt chose to honor his son, two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant.

Durant was born on Sept. 29, 1988, in Washington, D.C. A 23-year-old Pratt left Wanda Durant and their sons, Kevin and Tony, about a year later and was in and out of his family’s life for about 10 years.

Today, Pratt and Kevin Durant are close as father and son and also friends. Pratt played an advisory and support role for Durant when he decided on July 4, 2016, to sign with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent. Pratt was there to listen as his son made perhaps the biggest decision of his life. He advised Kevin Durant to “be selfish.”

Wanda Durant is well-known in the public eye and media and was called “The Real MVP” when Kevin Durant was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2014. Pratt is usually behind the scenes, but he was there to celebrate with his son when the Warriors won two straight NBA championships.

Durant recently told The Undefeated that he recalls his dad pumping him up vocally from the stands during his preteen basketball days and added that he still does now. When the Warriors knocked off the host Houston Rockets in a deciding Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference finals, Pratt screamed not far from the visiting locker room, “They said he wasn’t clutch. They said he was a front-runner. [Scoring] is in his blood.” And for Pratt and Durant, blood is thicker than water, as they have formed a strong bond after a rough start.

Pratt wrote a letter to his son on Father’s Day.


Kevin,

I write this letter to you with the biggest smile on my face. I am so proud to call you my son! I see your success, and I see how God’s light and love has helped you overcome so many life challenges that are directly tied to me. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on you at birth and how you would only fall asleep when I was around, and how that scenario played out time and time again. I thank God for your mother who was there when I was not. My not knowing how to be a father and not having a father to show me how to be a father caused me to neglect my responsibilities to you and your brother.

I regret missing out on your first day of school, your first haircut, holidays and the first day you picked up a basketball. But I thank God daily for creating the opportunity for us to reconnect. I’m so thankful for you opening your heart at such a tender time. Every parent-child relationship has its ups and downs and we are no exception. I feel fortunate that we have learned how to successfully navigate life’s mistakes. Thank you for forgiving me and allowing us to have the great relationship we have today.

So today, this Father’s Day, I celebrate you, Kev. Not because you are a great basketball player, but because you are a GREATER son. Today isn’t about me. It’s about us and what we’ve accomplished through faith and love. I love you Kev,

Dad

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.