"After winning that championship, I learned that much hadn't changed," Durant added. "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," he said. "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, in his return from a six-game absence because of an incomplete rib cartilage fracture, was ejected in the second quarter of Thursday night's 116-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena.
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It was the fifth time this season that Durant has been ejected—the most in the NBA. He's also picked up 14 technical fouls. If he's assessed two more, he will receive an automatic one-game suspension.
Thanks to Thursday's loss, the Warriors will not finish as the Western Conference's No. 1 seed for the first time since the 2013-14 season. That honor belongs to the Houston Rockets, who are seven games clear of Golden State with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
The defending champions will be back in action Saturday at Golden 1 Center against the Sacramento Kings.