Even in light of their game-7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Indiana Pacers have a lot to be hopeful for. For one, their young guys still have plenty of room to develop their game and grow their talent. Second, and perhaps most important, they already exceeded expectations.
See, at the start of the season, most would have never had the Pacers making the playoffs. And not only did they make it, but they got in as the 5th seed, and pushed LeBron's Cavs to 7 games in the first round.
Despite all of that, though, there's still going to be some unbelievers. There always are. And for those stubborn folk, Indy star Victor Oladipo has a message, which he proudly spoke during the Pacers' exit media conference:
"If y'all don't respect the Indiana Pacers now, I have no respect for you," Oladipo said after the Pacers' 105-101 loss. "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."
... Beleive yet?