By Ryan Velez
Vin Baker is fondly remembered by basketball fans for his skill on the court. Over the course of his 13-season career, he won an Olympic gold medal, made four appearances in the All-Star Game, and made a cool $100 million. However, this didn’t have the happiest ending for Baker, and Celebrity Net Worth chronicles how he is putting things back together.
Baker’s major issues stemmed from alcoholism and a life of free-spending. It’s easy to feel that the money will never end when you’re pulling together the type of numbers that he had over his career, but Baker managed to hit this limit. Not only did he spend all the money he had made, he also had the bank foreclose on his properties, and went to rehab three times. At his lowest point, he was even having visions on how his life would end.
"I was going to die in a car crash," Baker said. "It played through in my mind many times."
However, Baker had the inner fortitude to do what it took to get his life back on track. This started with ending his drinking. In time, he would manage to go for a year of sobriety. A major part of this was having Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz in his corner. Schultz owned the Seattle Supersonics when Baker played there. Part of this was working as a barista, turning the 6'11" into quite a sight. This would include waking up at 3:45 a.m. to greet customers. Many retail workers may dread such a lifestyle, but Baker made the most of the opportunity, which he described in his autobiography God and Starbucks, released this summer.
Nowadays? Baker has devoted his life to basketball and his children. To date, one of the happiest moments in this chapter of his life is seeing his son win a scholarship to Boston College. Over the summer, Baker took a job serving as the director of basketball for Camp Greylock, a boys summer camp in Becket, Massachusetts. He has also coached middle school and high school kids in hopes of imparting his skills and knowledge to a new generation. Mentorship and helping other enjoy basketball has become a big part in helping Baker fight his demons.
"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.