Championships are won through the sacrifices of star players, and no team exemplifies that quite like the Golden State Warriors.
It starts at the top. Stephen Curry was a two-time MVP heading into a free-agency recruitment meeting with Kevin Durant in 2016. Curry chose to share the throne with Durant, fully knowing that the 2014 MVP would steal some of the spotlight, but ultimately help his team.
Curry subsequently slipped from being the first unanimous MVP to finishing a distant sixth despite the Warriors finishing with the most victories for a third straight season.
The ends ultimately justified the means. Curry won his second title, and while he would like to have both MVP consideration and championships, he would much rather have the latter.
"Everybody wants to be in that conversation, wants to get votes and be recognized for having the best year individually," Curry explained to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
"But when I won my first two, that wasn't what I was playing for. I don't have that perspective - oh, I need to go play for an MVP. Really, when Tuesday happens, my mentality is to help my team win games, be aggressive, play my best basketball, and usually that means good things will happen individually and as a team.
"If I have to trade off a couple MVP votes for a championship, so be it. But hopefully I can be in the conversation for both."
MVP honors are generally awarded to the best player on the best team, so that should at least get Curry into the conversation. However, the presence of Durant does complicate things in terms of splitting the vote, especially since he's also arguably the better all-around player.