Vin Baker spent more than a decade in the NBA and was named an All-Star four times while playing for the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics, Knicks, Rockets, and Clippers. He also made more than $100 million during his career. So surely he’s off somewhere enjoying retirement, right?
Er, sort of. It sounds like Baker is enjoying himself at the moment, but he’s not doing what you’d expect a retired NBA player to be doing. Rather than sitting on a beach somewhere, Baker is working towards becoming the manager of a Starbucks in North Kingstown, R.I. Most of the money he made playing basketball has long been gone as a result of bad business decisions and Baker’s lengthy battle with alcoholism. But Baker is hoping that his Starbucks gig—which he got thanks to his relationship with former Sonics owner Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks—will pay off.
“In this company,” he told the Providence Journal recently, “there are opportunities for everyone. I have an excellent situation here at Starbucks and the people are wonderful.”
Baker’s story sounds like another tragic tale involving an athlete blowing through all of his money and, to some degree, it is. We don’t imagine you ever 100 percent get over losing nine figures. But Baker is upbeat, he’s been sober for four years, and he’s making the most of his current opportunity.
Read his story here. It’s actually pretty inspirational.