Why an NBA Star Traded His First Class Seat for the Last Row of Economy
When you're seven feet tall, giving up that leg room is kind of a big deal.
This story originally appeared on SportsIllustrated.com.
It seems Thon Maker, like many people of late, got screwed by United Airlines this week.
Unlike many people, however, Thon Maker is seven feet tall. And also unlike many grumpy air travelers, Maker was kind enough to give up a first class seat to sit in the last row of the plane, where, no, he had basically no room to squeeze his giant frame. Those seats don’t even recline. In another weird twist, Maker ended up sitting next to a guy who said on Facebook that he’s a distant cousin of Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma.
That guy ended up writing a really long, equally heartfelt Facebook post recounting what happened. Paul Kuzma agreed to take one of the seats in the last row, given the flight was apparently overbooked. Apparently, Maker had to move out of first class when another passenger showed up late.
From that post:
I told him I was so sorry, knowing this would be uncomfortable for him. He nonchalantly said it was worth it to get this delayed flight going. He had practice to attend in the morning and had a 2+ hour drive to get where he was headed after landing.
"Who do you play for?," I asked, thinking it would be a college. He answered, "the #MilwaukeeBucks." I tried to not show surprise and asked how long he'd been with them. This is his 2nd year.
I'm a football guy, not an #NBA fan. I'm newly a little interested now that a 2nd cousin once removed (whom I didn't know prior and have yet to meet), #KyleKuzma, was just drafted by the #Lakers. Kyle was a star of the #NBASummerLeague, winning MVP of the Championship Game. Turned out that, of course, Thon knows of Kyle.
I had to ask how in the world he ended up in the last row. He also had missed a flight and was rebooked on this one. He was assigned his original FIRST CLASS seat.
Let him be a shining beacon for us all.
This Story Originally Appeared On SI