NaVorro Bowman followed Kevin Durant into professional sports, and now the 49ers inside linebacker hopes to follow the NBA Finals MVP onto a championship podium.
As the Warriors forward celebrated his first title Monday night, Bowman, his boyhood friend, watched and was inspired to start studying in his ongoing pursuit of his first Super Bowl.
“Last night, I pulled out my playbook,” Bowman said. “It made me want to go after winning my first one even harder. That was the same thing with him making it to the NBA … He motivated me to get to this point and he definitely motivated me last night.”
Bowman sent Durant a congratulatory text message that read, in part, “You deserve it.” And Bowman knows better than most about the road Durant traveled to his first title: They were on the same basketball team at Drew Freeman Middle School Prince George’s County, Maryland, and have remained close through the years.
“It’s just a great thing to see,” Bowman said. “You’ve watched the guy get through what we’ve gotten through our entire life. Just to understand where he came from. It says a lot to how hard he’s worked. Nothing’s given to anyone, but especially on the side that we’ve come from.
“Just to see the joy in his mom’s eyes – I remember going to his house and seeing his mom get home from work, putting in those hours and time with her son. Just to see (her joy). To see her son reach the pinnacle that he’s been working so hard for his entire life.”
Good news for Warriors fans: Bowman thinks Durant will stay hungry in his pursuit of a second championship.
“One thing I know about him is he’ll never get complacent,” Bowman said. “He’ll always try to keep getting better and go back after it and go get another one.”