Former NBA Player Vin Baker Lost $100 Million – Here's How He's Working To Get It Back

By on October 12, 2017 in ArticlesSports News

During his career, Vin Baker was a force on the court. He played 13 seasons, earning nearly $100 million, making four All-Star appearances and winning an Olympic gold medal along the way.

But as his playing days ended, Baker's free-spending and alcoholic ways had taken their toll. He lost all of the money from his career. The bank foreclosed on his properties. He went to rehab three times. He even had visions of how his life would end.

"I was going to die in a car crash," Baker said. "It played through in my mind many times."

Baker knew he needed help to get back on track. He stopped drinking. Days of sobriety turned into weeks, then months, then a year. He had an ally in Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, who owned the Seattle Supersonics when Baker played there.

DAN LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images

Schultz gave Baker a chance – and the 6'11" forward became one of the tallest baristas Starbucks has ever seen. He'd open the store at 3:45 a.m., ready to greet customers as they started their day. Baker wrote about the experience in his autobiography God and Starbucks, released this summer.

Now, he's devoting his life to basketball and his children. One of his happiest moments? When his son received a scholarship to play at Boston College.

Simply seeing others experience the joy of basketball has helped Baker in overcoming his past demons. He took a job this summer serving as the director of basketball for Camp Greylock, a boys summer camp in Becket, Massachusetts. He's also coached middle school and high school kids and hopes to impart his hoops knowledge on the young minds.

"I very much love the process of seeing a kid who can first dribble at 5 or 6 years old and get to the point of scoring and developing a game," Baker said.

The kids at camp receive plenty of advice and excitement from having an NBA All-Star coach their game. For Baker, getting to interact and make memories with them is just as rewarding.

Articles Written by Joey Held
If there's a story anywhere in the world of music, sports, or entertainment, Joey wants to tell it. He's been freelancing since 2010, and prior to that, he attended the University of Miami, where he double majored in broadcast journalism and sport administration. A Chicago native, Joey currently resides in Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter and Google+ and always feel free to suggest a song for his next karaoke performance.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction
Discussion