Photo credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

Through the first 810 games of his career, Kevin Durant was ejected just twice. Through the first 18 games of this season, he’s been booted off the floor three times. Last night brought us the latest incident, in which Durant got into it with Boogie Cousins during the final minutes of the game, earning himself a second tech and an ejection:

This is a strange trend for Durant, who has never been known to have a short fuse on the court and has teammates who are much more suited for the brash shit-talker role. Durant doesn’t seem to have suddenly lost the ability to control his temper, though, because after the game he all but admitted that he’s choosing to get feisty at ideal moments. From ESPN:

“I thought he just threw us out pretty quick, to be honest,” Durant said after his third ejection over the past 18 games. “We got in each other’s faces, but that’s just how it is, you know what I’m saying? It’s late in the game. Every time I get ejected I make sure it’s late in the game. I’m not messing up like that in the first or second quarter — make sure it’s late in the game if I want to do something.”

He was ejected with 1:14 left to play last night, with 43 seconds left to play on October 27, and with 4:52 left to play on December 1. All this leads me to believe that Durant’s newfound spiciness is all some sort of branding ploy. I assume I will be receiving an email about it from a Google employee later today.