Steven Adams' physicality and presence in the NBA has been praised once again - but this time it has come from the opposition instead of his teammates.
Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks told media after his team played against Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this week that the Kiwi centre was one of the toughest in the NBA - both as a match-up and an athlete.
"Steven does that with everybody. That guy is the strongest, most physical guy in the league," Brooks said.
Brooks coached Adams in his rookie year when he was part of the Thunder organisation. After leaving Oklahoma in 2014, has continued to take an interest in watching Adams develop.
"When [Thunder general manager] Sam Presti drafted him and we had him in the pre-draft camp, we knew that he had a lot of talent," Brooks said.
"He had great hands and did a lot of special things not knowing really how to play. He hadn't played a lot of basketball, so we knew we definitely had a talented player.
"And then you saw every day his work ethic. When you have that talent and you work as hard as he works with coach [Mark] Bryant, you're gonna get better. Their staff has done a great job with him."
Adams is currently enjoying a career-best season for the Thunder, posting career-high numbers in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
By averaging 15.4 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game, Adams is for the first time in his career averaging a double-double.
He's also in the hunt to become the first New Zealander named as an NBA All Star after the first return of votes had him sitting sixth in the Western Conference's front court.