NBA All-Star Vin Baker has started a strange new career path as a Starbucks barista, a true fall from grace.
Baker's a Barista
The former first round pick of the 1993 NBA Draft played in four All-Star Games during his 13 seasons in the league and averaged 15 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game throughout his career. However, the reasons behind his downwards spiral are down to problems with alcohol.
Now he has been sober for more than four years, he has become a trained minister who savors work at his father’s church in Connecticut. Baker is now taking a new career path in Starbucks, training to become a manager.
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He thanks the CEO of Starbucks Howard Shultz, the former Seattle SuperSonics owner, for the opportunity, according to Sportal.
“In this company there are opportunities for everyone. I have an excellent situation here at Starbucks and the people are wonderful,” Baker says.
Fall from Grace
Baker's career path may be seen as a fall from grace by many NBA fans, losing much of his earnings, nearly $100 million, through poor investments and decisions.
The four-time NBA All-Star enjoyed his best seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle SuperSonics before alcohol became a problem.
He then switched between four teams in a his final four years in the league, the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and finally the L.A. Clippers. He was out of the league by the age of 34.
However, Baker doesn't see his life as a fall from grace at all, he sees it as searching for success in the next stage of his life and conquering demons.
He said: “When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you’re at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen. I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ ”
“For me this could have ended most likely in jail or death. That’s how these stories usually end. For me to summon the strength to walk out here and get excited about retail management at Starbucks and try to provide for my family, I feel that’s more heroic than being 6-11 with a fadeaway jump shot.
"I get energy from waking up in the morning and, first of all, not depending on alcohol, and not being embarrassed or ashamed to know I have a family to take care of. The show’s got to go on.”
Indeed the show must go on and it's good to see Baker making amends in his life not just for himself but for his family.
Hopefully, he will return to the NBA one day as a coach one day, but it is important he takes the necessary steps to reach that stage of the big time again.