How Vin Baker Went From NBA Player To Starbucks Apron And Still Recovered After Losing Millions

How Vin Baker Went From NBA Player To Starbucks Apron And Still Recovered After Losing Millions

Modern media has given the world several vantage points in the fight against drug abuse. Whether fictional or rooted in reality, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse are no laughing matter. For many, the consequences of such a struggle have meant the termination of relationships and jobs, the loss of money, and, unfortunately, the loss of lives.

However, not all drug abuse stories end in defeat. Several people can recover and live healthy and prosperous lives with the right support and strategy.

Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Vin Baker is an example of a person who triumphed over their struggles and overcame significant losses and relationship troubles.

A thriving career

According to the LA Times, Baker had a serious alcohol addiction that cost him a lucrative NBA career and over $100 million in salaries and endorsements.

Before things went wrong for Baker, the preacher’s kid was an influential player in the NBA. During his 13-year career, the former NBA player amassed a massive fortune and was well on his way to becoming one of the league’s top players.

Copyright: Otto Greule, Jr.

Copyright: Otto Greule, Jr.

This era of massive success was also accompanied by great celebrations. It was there that alcoholism began to permeate his reality.

“It was like I made it. Then came the celebration. And I’ve been partying and partying and partying almost every day,” he said, according to the outlet.

Baker’s struggle with alcohol began to affect his performance on the pitch, and by 2003 he openly admitted his struggles.

And while he was honest about his addiction, it didn’t stop the trajectory she had him on. Later in the interview, it is noted that Baker lost $1 million in one night and was driven through multiple teams after poor performances on the court.

By 2006, he had retired from the league, plagued by poor business investments, charges of DUI, property loss, and bicycling from marijuana and pill use in addition to alcohol.

“The low point for me wasn’t necessarily knowing and understanding that I couldn’t get back into the league. It was more than that. And I mean that with all my heart. I knew I felt God forsaken me,” admitted Baked.

At what was seen at his lowest point, Baker asked his family for help and entered a rehabilitation facility.

Usually the third time is supposed to be the appeal, but for Baker, his fifth stint in rehab put him on the permanent road to recovery.

Reconnecting with his faith and family, Baker found himself in a management trainee program and eventually opened and operated his own Starbucks location. And in the words of Cardi B, it’s been “up and down” ever since.

Baker got a chance to work in broadcasting for the Milwaukee Bucks and eventually landed his role as an assistant coach.

“This was an opportunity presented to me not to screw up,” Baker said. “It’s not about me. It’s not about ‘I made it. I’m a coach of the bucks.’ It’s about someone watching.”

Today, Baker is confident that while his addiction is behind him, his journey is a cautionary tale and an inspiration to others.

“I understand addiction on every level. I didn’t leave all the bad things that happened in my head. Like, I haven’t forgotten. I didn’t forget it either when I just put on a green apron at Starbucks about four years ago. I’m not that far in the clouds. I have an absolute responsibility to offer hope to people who are not in a healthy situation when it comes to addiction. It precedes everything else in my life,” Baker told the Los Angeles Times.

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