Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowitzki is that rare breed of NBA cat who is willing to make large financial sacrifices in the name of building a strong team around him. The former league MVP, 12-time All-Star and 2011 Finals MVP already has plenty of hardware to his name, and he’s also made a little over $200 million in his career, so when it came time to sign a new contract with the Mavericks this past off season, he opted for a three-year, $25 million contract. Nowitzki’s payday last season alone was $22.7 million, so making roughly $8 million this year is a huge step down. However, the price reduction allowed owner Mark Cuban to poach Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets with a three-year contract worth almost double Nowitzki’s new deal ($46 million). Parsons’ presence as a wing scorer will help dull the pain of losing Vince Carter in free agency, and to a division rival, at that (Memphis).

Because of his tremendous financial sacrifice, Nowitzki plans to give Parsons constant reminders of how he ended up in Dallas: