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“First time I bought a first-class ticket was after I signed my $100 million contract”: Giannis Antetokounmpo took 4-years after his NBA debut to book his first business class air ticket

Akash Murty

“First time I bought a first-class ticket after I signed my $100 million contract”: Giannis Antetokounmpo took 4-years after his NBA debut to book his first business class air ticket

Giannis Antetokounmpo at 27-years of age has already put himself in line to be the greatest player of all time but he might also be the smartest.

Achieving almost everything a basketball player aspires to get on his resume before they retire at such a young age has not made Giannis full of pride like most other athletes.

The “Greek Freak” is that just on the court, off it, he’s one of the most grounded athletes one could ever come across. He never forgets his values and where he came from irrespective of where he is now.

Also read: “Even Kevin Durant likes the Greek Freak’s dad jokes”: When the Nets superstar endorsed a hilarious Hannah Montana joke made by Giannis Antetokounmpo

The man is worth around $100 Million having signed a $228 Million contract with Milwaukee Bucks in 2020, but he still spends his money with the utmost care, unlike most athletes.

This story of his first Business class airplane ticket might give you the idea of how careful the 2x MVP is when it comes down to financial matters.

Why is Giannis Antetokounmpo so grounded?

The 6x All-Star had a slower start compared to how good of a player he is now. It took him 3-years to get to 20 ppg which he did in his fourth year in the league and made his first All-Star appearance.

He then signed an extension worth $100 million and year 5 onwards took the league by storm earning 2 MVPs, 2 DPOYs, an NBA Championship, and a Finals MVP with many other accolades in the next 5 years.

In an interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski just before winning his first MVP in 2019, he talked about how fame and money are not going to change him because he knows where he comes from.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cheap,” the Greek international told Woj. “But I’m just careful with my money because I know the value of money. You know, the way I grew up, and the way that we fought every day and worked every day to have money … I think I never lost that value.”

When Giannis treated himself with first-class air tickets for the first time upon Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s suggestion

Antetokounmpo then told the story of when he had his very first business class travel, which was after he was 4 years into the league and had signed that $100 million contract. And that too after his brother suggested so.

“I think the first time I bought a first-class ticket was my fourth year in the league after I signed my contract,” Antetokounmpo explained. “My older brother, Thanasis, told me, ‘OK, son. We cannot be sitting back in coach next to the restroom.’” Giannis even

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Also read: “This city’s is not for me”: Giannis Antetokounmpo reveals reason behind possibly not joining big market teams like Lakers or Clippers

So, because of his brother, Giannis took the business class for the first time. Otherwise, he might have done it after winning his first MVP or having a $100 million net worth, who knows.

There cannot be another man in the NBA better than this 6’11 humble giant from Europe who can be a lesson for every youngster out there. And especially in the league where players have a 60% record of going broke after retirement, he should be the biggest role model.

About the author

Akash Murty

Akash Murty


An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

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