De'Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings had some really high hopes in the NBA Playoffs this year after finishing the regular season as the No. 3 seed in the West. Unfortunately for them, they were matched up against Stephen Curry and the defending champs Golden State Warriors in the opening round, and ultimately, it was the Kings who had to suffer a heartbreaking exit so early in the postseason.

The Kings gave it their all, though, and they nearly did enough to outduel the Warriors. Fox and Co. took the series all the way to a Game 7, and it required a record-breaking performance from Curry in the final game of the series to close out Sacramento. This is perhaps what makes this whole experience even more agonizing for De'Aaron Fox, who himself admits that he wants the pain to linger a bit:

“This is probably the first time that the season ended and I’m like, upset,” Fox said, via James Ham of The Kings Beat. “Because of the way it ended and we felt like we could have kept playing, we could have got to the second round and kept our season going, this was the first time I actually felt like the season ending was kinda hard for me. You want that sting to last a little bit so you don’t want to feel that again.”

Talk about motivation. This feels like whenever players watch opposing teams celebrate a championship or a huge win. It's an extremely tough pill to swallow, but it is that exact feeling of loss and heartbreak that serves as motivation to come back stronger the next year — something that you can be sure Fox and the Kings will do in 2023-24.