There's no doubt that the financial compensation for NBA players is incredible. The average athlete on an NBA team has a salary of about $8 million a year. The most valued players can bring home paychecks of more than $40 million. Every year! 

These highly valued professional athletes work hard for their money. Basketball has one of the longest seasons of any professional sport; it lasts seven months if you don't make the playoffs and nine months if you do. 

That's a long, hard stretch to maintain the level of physical exertion that these guys put out for training and games.

So when these hard-working multimillionaires go on road trips for away games, is their travel experience as lavish as their paycheck? 

It's probably less luxurious than you may assume but definitely better than the last trip most average Americans took. Here's a glimpse into their life on the road.

How Much Do They Travel?

During that incredibly long sports season, NBA teams will play at least 82 games and about half of them will be away games. 

The average NBA team will average over 40,000 miles of travel in a single season. For players with wives and families, that breaks down to a couple of months of missed time. 

Where Do They Stay?

Professional players can expect to stay in some very nice hotels like the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale. They will typically get a single room with their own king-sized bed. Why don't they share rooms? 

Well, when a professional athlete is hopping over a couple of time zones, missing his family, and maintaining a grueling training and game schedule, studies show a definite negative impact on his performance. 

So the team owners and managers try to mitigate issues that might make resting difficult. The last thing that a pro athlete needs after a long trip is trying to catch a few hours of sleep with a teammate snoring in the next bed.

How Do They Travel?

Many NBA teams have taken to traveling by chartered plane to get to their next game. Chartered flights save the players from endless lost hours waiting in airports and get them straight to their destination without layovers or switching planes. 

Charters are always more luxurious than a commercial flight, but just how luxurious is a matter of chance. Charters are also more likely to have spaces where these very tall athletes can stretch their legs.

When an NBA team has to fly commercial, they always book first class, mostly to compensate for the players' height, but also because their celebrity status requires extra measures for privacy. 

If a flight should run out of space in first class, usually the players with the least experience get the bump back to the economy, which means a long flight with their knees pressed up against the seat in front of them. 

Not ideal for athletes that may have to perform that evening.

What Do They Eat?

The easy answer is, "They're millionaires. They eat whatever they want." And that may be true when these players are home. 

Many professional athletes in the NBA and other professional sports organizations employ home chefs to ensure that they are getting a regular diet of food that is both tasty and supportive of their nutritional needs. On the road, they're pretty much on their own. 

As professionals, most players are acutely aware of what their bodies need and go to great lengths to make certain that they are getting themselves nutritious meals while away from home.


Life on the road is strenuous for NBA players. They have jobs that are extremely physically demanding and road trips make that job more difficult to do well. 

You may think the pay these guys get is ridiculous, but most think they deserve some extra care when they're away from home.


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