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Dirk says he'll take a "significant pay cut" on next contract to help Mavs lure a star

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Dirk Nowitzki said it's not about the money anymore at this stage of his career. He'll be front and center with the Mavs recruiting efforts this summer.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There's going to be a moment within the next few years. A very sad moment -- the moment when Dirk Nowitzki stops playing basketball. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that.

It's not a secret that Dirk is one of the more gracious, humble and easy-to-love superstars of this generation. He's been the rock for a Dallas franchise that has been to hell and back, multiple times. Sometimes, it's easy to take Dirk for granted. I know I do. Eventually that moment is going to happen where we realize he's gone and that's just going to f*cking suck. No other way to really say it.

I mention all this because Dirk is once again doing something that makes my heart melt and my insides churn. Here's Tim MacMahon from

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki's intention to take a "significant pay cut" next summer will be part of the Mavericks' sales pitch in July as they attempt to sign a superstar in free agency.

If the Mavs are able to meet with Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard, Nowitzki plans to promise them that he'll be extremely flexible in his next negotiations with owner Mark Cuban, ensuring that Dallas will have ample space under the salary cap to acquire more talent in the summer of 2014.

"At this point of my career, it's all about competing and winning," Nowitzki said Thursday after an event to promote AT&T's "It Can Wait" program, which urges people not to text and drive. "It's not about money. Obviously, Cuban took care of me for a long, long time. I always tried to pay him back by hard playing and being here for this franchise, so I don't think we're going to fight over money. I want to compete over these last couple of years. That's going to be the goal."

Fantastic. Dirk signed a four-year, $80 million deal in 2010, giving the Mavs a slight discount from the max $96 million he could have taken. It's nice to know that finally, the Mavs seem all on-board to the plan they implemented in 2011 -- sign the next star after Dirk.

Because, let's face it: it was hard to believe the Mavs plan was going to work when Mark Cuban was filming "Shark Tank" and Dirk spent an off-season not staying in shape after a well-deserved championship bender. Whether or not those really affected the decisions of Deron Williams and the like, it doesn't matter now. The public perception was the Mavs threw away a title team and Cuban couldn't even make it to the meetings. Public perception is a powerful thing, whether it's wrong or not.

And for those who think this doesn't matter, that Chris Paul or Dwight Howard won't show up, let's not forget that LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all took slightly less to sign together in Miami. If Dirk is pitching his "take less, win more" maybe he can convince others to do the same. Then again, Dirk is Dirk. He's pretty special and unique.

Also, couldn't help but read Dirk saying "It's not about money" without immediately thinking of this: