“Revenge is a dish best served cold” is a wise proverb that holds true to this very day. It doesn't hold any more veracity than for D'Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets, once traded by the Los Angeles Lakers after two years in the league. He now has the chance to eliminate the Lakers from playoff contention with a win tonight at the Staples Center.

The former No. 2 overall pick makes his return to the place he once called home, now a first-time All-Star and among the candidates for Most Improved Player after leading his team to a likely playoff appearance despite having the toughest schedule remaining in the league.

Russell has enjoyed great success since Caris LeVert went down with an injury, thrusting him into a leadership role and putting the ball in his hands more than ever. This has allowed him to take the control the Lakers were so hopeful to see him get a hold of before giving up on him after two seasons and trading him alongside Timofey Mozgov for center Brook Lopez.

The lefty Ohio State product won't say much about his recent success, knowing it wasn't long ago that he was on the other side of the coin.

“I’ve been on the worst side of the tilt,” Russell said after Thursday’s practice at Santa Monica High School, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “So to now to be on this side where we’re having a little success, I’ve seen both narratives. I’ve seen every narrative you could throw. When it comes to preparing myself for them, I’ve looked in the mirror and I’ve put myself in the situation before [the media] could.”

The Nets need every win they can get with only nine games left this season, but nothing would give Russell more fuel than burying his former team only a couple of seasons after they let him go.