An NBA Star Was Asked To Give Up His First Class Seat On An Overbooked United Flight (What Happened Next May Stun You)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

United Airlines and overbooking go together like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan.

They’d love to quit each other, but the occasional necessities get in the way.

You might imagine, though, that it’s rare for a First Class passenger to give up their seat because the airline hasn’t quite synchronized its reservations and ends up with too many passengers.

This, though, seems to have happened to Milwaukee Bucks star Thon Maker.

As his fellow passenger Paul Kuzma related on Facebook, Maker ended up sitting next to him and told him his tale.

This was after Kuzma himself had volunteered to give up his own Economy Plus seat and agree to go to the very last row.

Should you have ever occupied one of these very last rows, the seats don’t recline and you can hear everything that’s happening in the restroom.

Another passenger who had willingly given up his seat and ended up in the last row was Maker.

Should you have ever watched an NBA game, you’ll know that NBA players are quite tall.

Maker plays center. He’s 7′ 1″.

Please imagine, then, how he could even fit in the back row of a United flight.

Yes, the back row of coach, where the economy is basic and the legroom is, to Maker, not even thigh room.

Wait a minute. Kuzma says he saw Maker leave his seat in Economy Plus. What was an NBA player doing in Economy Plus? He was surely booked in First Class.

Well, Maker had already been asked to give up his First Class seat because another passenger had previously been assigned it and had turned up extremely late to claim it.

Not only, then, did Maker move without murmur from First Class to Economy Plus, but he then volunteered to move from Economy Plus to the worst row on the plane.

Why, though, did Maker give up his seat and, frankly, risk injury?

Kuzma explained: “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.”

Perhaps Maker doesn’t sweat the small stuff because he’s seen some big stuff.

He and some of his family escaped the civil war in Uganda. They sought refuge in Australia. He moved to the US in order to attend high school, and then went to Canada, before ending up in the NBA.

You see, then, I’m not writing about this tale because United did something marvelous, although Kuzma suggested that the airline staff behaved with pleasantness throughout.

Instead, it’s to point out that there still exist people in the world who choose to go beyond the norm, just to be, well, decent. Or nice. Or classy.

Or whatever devalued description of positivity you prefer.

As Kuzma explained: “He couldn’t even fit his knees into the Economy seat! Every time the snack cart came by or someone had to use the restroom, he had to get up and move out of their way.” Yet Maker offered no complaint.

After its debacle with dragging a bloody-faced Dr. David Dao from its plane, United has promised to behave humanely when it comes to overbooking of one kind or another. Although the airline’s Chief Digital Officer recently said it will still happen.

But if you’ve never been an NBA fan, perhaps it’s worth adopting Thon Maker as your favorite player.

How many stars would have created a commotion and even muttered something about who they are?

Thon Maker made a gesture for the greater good.

It’s almost weird, isn’t it?

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