Hornets Nuggets Basketball

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic gestures after being called for a foul in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

At the peak of their powers, Nikola Jokic and Patrick Mahomes share a star-studded Sunday.

Come for the games, stay for the greatness.

Mahomes’ Chiefs host the Broncos at 11 am. The Kansas City magician should be NFL MVP — again.

Jokic’s Nuggets host the Celtics at 6. Denver’s magician has been the NBA MVP — again.

There is no finding a suitable comparison within their respective sports for either superstar.

But isn’t Mahomes similar to Jokic, and the other way around?

Each star is unlike any other. What’s interesting about Jokic and Mahomes, however, is how their creativity is results-based, not solely for show. Take the first matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs: Mahomes flipped a no-look pass to Jerick McKinnon, who scored. Likewise in a recent game, Jokic bounced a pass between his own legs to Bruce Brown, who scored.

If their seasons ended today, the Nuggets would be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, while the Chiefs would be No. 2 in the AFC.

Mahomes is 10-0 against the Broncos, who have lost to the Chiefs a record 14 straight times.

Colorado hopes Jokic retires a Nugget — and prays Mahomes retires sooner rather than later.

The Chiefs rewarded Mahomes with a record contract extension — up to $503 million over 10 years. The Nuggets awarded Jokic a record contract extension — $264 over five years.

They’re buying.

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Joker is 27 years, 316 days old. Mahomes is 27 years, 106 days old. They’re still ascending.

The Broncos are the NFL’s biggest mess. Jerry Rosburg is the interim coach after Nathaniel Hackett was fired. Nineteen players are on injured reserve. It’s gone from bad to the worst.

The Broncos are not the story on Sunday.

Mahomes is... until Jokic provides the nightcap.

The Chiefs quarterback leads the NFL in passing yards (4,720), touchdown throws (37) and State Farm commercials. He’s 377 passing yards from 5,000 and the betting favorite for NFL MVP.

Likewise, Joker is the story against the Celtics. He’s averaged a triple-double in December: 30 points, 12.8 rebounds, 10 assists. He’s scored 40 points four times this month. Jokic found fame during a Taco Bell commercial. Somehow, the NBA’s best player is not the betting favorite.

It’s been three decades since an NBA player won three straight MVP awards. Jokic’s candidacy will get a lift with another dazzling show — vs. fellow candidate Jayson Tatum of the Celtics.

But the best thing about Jokic and Mahomes? They bring everyone along for the ride. The centers of attention, each one credit others before celebrating himself. They do things we’ve never seen with a humility we rarely witness.

Their production continues no matter the supporting cast. Mahomes lost his main threat, Tyreek Hill, and will set a career-high in passing yards. Jokic lost his wingman, Jamal Murray, and claimed a pair of MVP awards. Both work for well-run franchises in communities that fit them.

Jokic and Mahomes work in the entertainment business, and no one is more entertaining.

Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and Ball Arena, catch Jokic and Mahomes at the peak of their powers. What a doubleheader it is.

Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at paul.klee@gazette.com or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.

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