The one-seeded Utah Jazz have been fighting for respect all season long. Even as they crush their opponents, and boast the NBA's best record, their team is being largely counted out in the race for the title, and their stars (Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert) are being mostly underrated.
But after Utah's 9 point loss at the hands of the Wizards on Thursday, Gobert sang a different tune, telling his team that respect must be earned, not given.
"We have to realize we haven't accomplished shit. We get upset when people laugh at us on TV and disrespect us but it's on us to have respect for ourselves and understand that we're not the not the champions. We are not a team that can just cruise."
The modern-day Jazz have done very little to prove they can be a threat in the playoffs. Last season, they fell victim to a 3-1 comeback by the Denver Nuggets in the very first round.
If they really want respect, they'll have to go out and prove they're capable of winning big when it matters most.