Victor Oladipo insisted the Indiana Pacers deserve respect following their game-seven loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs.
The Pacers bowed out of the playoffs after Sunday's 105-101 defeat against the Cavaliers, who sealed a 4-3 series triumph in the Eastern Conference first-round matchup.
Pacers star guard Oladipo hopes the team earned something from the experience.
"If y'all don't respect the Indiana Pacers now, I have no respect for you," Oladipo said.
"That's just how I feel. Nobody thought we were going to be here — not one person — but us in the locker room. I feel like we've earned our respect from everyone now."
Oladipo, who scored 30 points with 12 rebounds on Sunday, made his first All-Star team this season after moving to Indiana as a part of the Paul George trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"Nobody thought we were going to be here," Oladipo said. "If I told you we were going to be here in October, you'd have looked at me like I was crazy."
While Cavs superstar LeBron James said after the game that he just wanted to go home after feeling a bit burnt out carrying Cleveland on his back, Oladipo does not know how to rest.
"I don't know how to take time off. I had someone tell me, 'Take a break and enjoy my life.' This is my life," Oladipo said. "I feel like I've got a lot of room to improve. This summer I'm going to go to work so I can come back even better."