Before he even played a single game for the Lakers, there were doubts that Russell Westbrook would fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Through preseason and the first few games of the regular season, Westbrook's performance was subpar and fed into the narrative spread by the critics.
But after dropping 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in Tuesday's crucial victory over San Antonio, people are starting to remember what Russ brings to the table -- and many gave him credit for it on social media after the game.
Tonight was exactly the game that Westbrook needed.
While the guy has always been a popular player to criticize, the past few years have been especially brutal for him.
In Houston and D.C., he failed miserably to make things work and landed in Los Angeles as a major question mark. After L.A.'s slow start, he again found himself the subject of scrutiny.
Despite that, he kept his head down and continued to work, unbothered by all the noise.
"I'm OK with adversity, honestly," Westbrook said Saturday after the team gathered for a film session. "I never panic throughout the course of a season. Especially at the start of the season. There's really no need to. The season is too long and nobody is winning nothing right now.
Yes, it's good to get off to a good start and feel good about yourself, but especially me personally, I like to make sure that I'm -- as the season goes on -- I'm constantly just getting better and better and better as the season prolongs. And making sure that my team and my teammates are getting better as well as we all get comfortable with each other."
After this signature performance, Lakers fans should be at ease knowing that while the team might continue to struggle to find their groove, Westbrook is still the guy we all know and love. He hasn't lost a beat.
All he needs is a little bit of time to learn how to play with LeBron James.