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Saturday, July 3, 2010
Unselfish Dirk gives Mavs discount

By Tim MacMahon

Dirk Nowitzki cemented his status as the league's most unselfish superstar.

The greatest Maverick of all time gave Mark Cuban a significant hometown discount for two reasons: He's extremely loyal, and he desperately wants to leave a legacy of a champion in Dallas.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that Dirk agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract -- $16.2 million less than a max deal he could have demanded. And he did so without even flirting with another franchise despite the Mavs' repeated early playoff exits in recent years.

Dirk and Cuban are essentially partners in the mission to make the Mavs champions. The discount eases the financial burden Cuban would assume by acquiring a legitimate superstar to pair with his future Hall of Fame power forward.

Dirk has done his part, sending a strong message to potential sign-and-trade targets in the process: He's more than willing to sacrifice to win.