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RedRifle
Vanderbilt Fan
Austin/NO
Member since Dec 2013
5584 posts

From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
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Powerful story





quote:

But three years later, Seattle dealt Baker to Boston, where he underwent a physical. The doctor employed by the Celtics found signs of liver damage associated with alcoholism. "And, of course, being in the state I was, I lied and said, 'No, there’s no issues, and I’m not drinking as much as you guys may think,'" Baker recalls. Baker says the doctor told him, "Of course, if you play better, this all goes away." Baker also recalls that in 2003, two men hired by the league to surprise him with random drug tests told him they’d warn him about when the tests were coming if he’d pay each of them $50,000. He thought about it. In any case, he didn’t play better. By then he was constantly drunk or hungover. He became a part-timer the Celtics could do without. Eventually he began drinking Listerine, figuring nobody would complain about the odor.


quote:

"We met. And we came up with a plan. And we exercised that plan, and part of the plan was to make caramel macchiatos and serve coffee at Starbucks." Vin Baker went into the management training program. That meant he showed up dependably. And, as with his job in pro basketball, he put on a uniform. "To actually grab the green apron — that was a little bit short, by the way — grab the green apron and throw it on and then walk out, it was surreal," Baker says. "Surreal," as in getting up at 3:45 a.m. to open the store. And, at least initially, Baker didn’t even like the taste of coffee. But he handled the job. "From the work perspective, it wasn’t that difficult. Because I don’t mind working," Baker says. "But, obviously, the story behind it was difficult some days, but I ultimately said, 'This is all for the best.'" "Do you remember what the figure was on your first paycheck from Starbucks?" I ask. "I don’t. Um, I don’t remember," he says with a chuckle. "I can tell you this: same signature from Howard, but it wasn’t the same amount as I got when I worked for him in Seattle. I can tell you that much."

quote:

Vin Baker can laugh now. He’s been in recovery for 6 1/2 years. And he’s not much inclined to look back at the nearly $100 million he lost. "I’m not going to be on the cover of Business Insider or Forbes any time soon, but that’s OK with me. Right? That’s OK with me," Baker says. "Because in the world of recovery, we don’t talk dollars and cents. We talk recovery, one day at a time. Win the day. So when I got the job at Starbucks as a store manager in training, it was the upswing. I was happy. I was ecstatic. "I came from a dark, dark place. And to be able to open a store up at 4:30 in the morning, 5:30 in the morning, and run a shift, and be responsible for a store is a big deal to a person in recovery. You know, it talks about responsibility. And so, it wasn’t $100 million to Starbucks. It was, 'Wow, I’m the store manager at Starbucks.' That’s how I felt when I went in there every day to work."


Walking the Earth
Member since Feb 2013
13472 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Hell of a ride. I hope he continues his recovery.


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Sevendust912
West Virginia Fan
Annapolis
Member since Jun 2013
10214 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
As someone sober for nearly a year, I really appreciate this story.

Thanks for sharing


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230
boosiebadazz
Member since Feb 2008
58690 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Good for him. Crazy how alcohol affects different people differently.


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50
TxWadingFool
Texas A&M Fan
Middle Coast
Member since Sep 2014
919 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Great read after just reading the Dwight post, wish him well on his road to recovery.


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SohCahToa
LSU Fan
New Orleans, La
Member since Jan 2011
6468 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
As a sober guy who likes to believe he can be humble, I'm not sure there are very many people capable of this level of humility. What a story. I'm notnsure I would've been able to do it.


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80
bluebarracuda
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2011
9169 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
quote:

Because in the world of recovery, we don’t talk dollars and cents. We talk recovery, one day at a time. Win the day


Great quote. This should be applicable to every person, whether in recovery or not


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40
S
Texas Southern Fan
America was already great, mane.
Member since Jan 2007
84530 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Those mid 90s Bucks teams was rugged yo

Eric Murdock and Big Dog


mattz1122
Houston Fan
Member since Oct 2007
39563 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Lee Mayberry and Brad Lohaus


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Jim Rockford
LSU Fan
Member since May 2011
57234 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Even if he lost everything he presumably has a nice NBA pension waiting for him.


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therick711
Chicago Cubs Fan
South
Member since Jan 2008
20679 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Good on Vin. Hopefully, his upswing continues.


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OceanMan
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
8340 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Great story better attitude


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saintsfan22
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
baton rouge
Member since May 2006
39700 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Good that he's back on track.


Akit1
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Jul 2006
5283 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Happy to hear he's recovering. He fell off a cliff when he went to Boston. Want to say he was averaging 5 ppg, and then his struggles with alcohol came out. Great read. Thanks for posting.


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RogerTheShrubber
LSU Fan
Juneau, AK
Member since Jan 2009
133859 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Great story. Addiction really makes you mentally ill and incapable of making rational decisions. Sounds like he's committed. You never really gain the level of mental stability back.


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ATLTiger
#TreyBiletnikoffs
Member since Sep 2003
38249 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Blue Edwards!


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beaverfever
Washington State Fan
Little Rock
Member since Jan 2008
13330 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
Really great story. It takes a lot of character to be able to serve coffee full time with a smile on your face after having a 100 million dollar contract. Need more people with that mindset.


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HamzooReb
Troy Fan
Starkghanistan
Member since Mar 2013
5838 posts

re: From NBA All-Star To Starbucks Barista: Vin Baker's Journey To Sobriety
I hope to one day feel be like him. It seems like alcohol is one of the only things i look forward to right now in life.


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