“€22800 And I’m Like ‘Holy F**k'”: Giannis Antetokounmpo Couldn’t Fathom How Much Was Spent On His Plane Tickets

Advait Jajodia

Amazon Prime has released a new documentary – Giannis: The Marvelous Journey – that details how Giannis Antetokounmpo went on to become one of the best basketball players in the world despite facing hardships in his childhood. Among other stories from early on in Giannis’ career, at one point in the film, Antetokounmpo narrated the tale of his first flight experience from Greece to The United States of America. While flying business class was extremely fun, the Milwaukee Bucks leader revealed being in shock after hearing the price of the tickets.

Back in 2013, when Giannis Antetokounmpo needed to be present in The USA for the draft process, he was accompanied by his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo and his agent. The experience of flying in business class left the Antetokounmpo brothers in awe. But all the excitement went out of the window after the Greek Freak learned that the tickets cost €22,800.

“It was me, Thanasis, and my agent. He had the papers and he showed us like, the seat. He was like ‘€22,800’ and I’m like ‘holy f**k’. Why didn’t he just give us the money? We can just stay home,” Giannis said.

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Giannis was raised in poverty. With neither of the parents having a steady job, there were times when the Greek Freak and his family wouldn’t even have food on the table. From constantly living in the fear of being kicked out of their house for not being able to pay the rent to fly in business class, it’s understandable why an 18-year-old would be startled after learning just how expensive the tickets were.

Giannis Antetokounmpo talks about his journey to the NBA

Unlike several NBA players, Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t part of any mock draft boards. In fact, playing for a third-division league in Europe, NBA scouts had never heard of Giannis. However, during the 2012-13 Greek A2 League season, the lanky forward was improving. Even though his numbers – 9.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game – weren’t exactly visually appealing, Giannis did catch the attention of the basketball fraternity in The United States.

As personnel from different teams in the NBA would show up to his games, the youngster would get nervous and would allow it to affect his game. On the appearance of Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Woj Pod”, Giannis said:

“Yeah, the first time I was nervous, second time I was nervous. Then I was like okay it is what it is I’m just going to keep doing my the thing.”

The Atlanta Hawks were the first team that showed any interest in acquiring the European prodigy. The front office even committed to selecting the youngster in the 2013 draft. Not wanting any other franchise in the NBA to know about their secret meeting, the Hawks asked Giannis to make a trip to Atlanta “all by himself”.

According to sources, the visit couldn’t have gone any better. The Hawks were ready to select the forward with their 17th pick in the draft. However, their plan was ruined by the Milwaukee Bucks, who with their 15th pick decided to get Antetokounmpo on board.

Over the years, Giannis improved all aspects of his game. Adding fifty pounds of muscle, Antetokounmpo slowly transformed into one of the best forwards in the league. Today, only at the age of 29, the Bucks superstar has one of the most decorated resumes for a forward – 8x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive, a MIP, two MVPs, a DPOY, a championship, and the Finals MVP.

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About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,200+ articles.

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