The race for the 2023 NBA MVP award has been heating up as of late, and to not much of a surprise, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is among the serious contenders to win the prestigious honor.

On the heels of taking home a second consecutive NBA MVP award, Jokic has managed to somehow, someway improve across the board this season. The all-around center has posted career highs in multiple stats so far in the ongoing campaign, from assists per game (10.1) to field goal percentage (63.2 percent).

While the likes of Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo have orchestrated formidable campaigns this season, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo believes that Jokic has what it takes to become the fourth player ever to win three straight NBA MVPs. During his NBA All-Star Media Day availability on Saturday, Adebayo took some time to lay out a strong case on this matter.

“It’s hard to deny what he has done,” Adebayo said on Saturday. “For people who really watch basketball, it’s hard to deny what he has done, what he is doing. I think he can — I think he can go for it. … The man is a center and almost leads the league in assists while averaging, what, 25-11. Yeah, that’s hands-down, because if you look at the eye test, you’ll be, like, no, he is not doing that.

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“But he is a really gifted player, and he is smart. I think he has a chance to do it.”

Adebayo last faced off against Jokic this past Monday, when the five-time All-Star recorded 27 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Denver’s 112-108 road win over Miami. Adebayo has had much appreciation for Jokic’s game ever since his first meeting against him.

“I respect so much of his game because he is so humble,” Adebayo said. “He is like a humble giant. You know, goes out there and does his job, does his job well. I feel like the conversations I’ve had, he has remained the same person since I’ve met him.”

The Nuggets entered the NBA All-Star break atop the Western Conference standings with a notable 40-18 record.