Warriors superstar Kevin Durant has picked up 14 technical fouls (two away from an automatic suspension) and been ejected five different times this year.
Prior to the 2017-18 season, he had been tossed from a game only once.
The reason for the uptick? A passionate desire to win another championship, the former MVP told Chris Haynes of ESPN:
“It’s just my emotions and passion for the game,” Durant said after Friday’s practice session. “After winning that championship (last season), I learned that much hadn’t changed. I thought it would fill a certain [void]. It didn’t. That’s when I realized in the offseason that the only thing that matters is this game and how much work you put into it. Everything else off the court, social media, perception, isn’t important. What people say, how they view you, it’s not important.
“What we did as a team was special, and I want to experience that again. My love and passion for the game has [blossomed] because I understand that’s what it’s all about, and I’m pouring all of this [newfound thirst] into this game. But I know I have to keep [my fire] under control, and I will.”
Durant went on to add that he is “going to do whatever [he] can to help” the Warriors get back to where they were and claim back-to-back titles:
“That’s what I’m excited for. That’s why you’re seeing this passion from me. Before, I used to care about the game and the lifestyle. Now, all I care about is my love for the game, the pureness of the game. This is me.”