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A Former NBA stars story to Persevere

Reel Robinson

On the Bench: Vin Baker, Tyrone Ellis & Justin Reed

Former NBA big man Vin Baker has hit the news lately speaking on his aspirations to be a Starbucks manager. The 13 year NBA veteran ran into some hard times during his career dealing with alcoholism and managing the amount of money he accumulated over the time he played in the NBA. Famous for his short stint with the Seattle Supersonics where he helped pushed them to the 1995 NBA finals eventually losing to the Michael Jordan lead Chicago Bulls. Vin Baker was a key component in that teams success yet he could not handle the amount of pressure it was to sustain a wealthy lifestyle.

It is reported that Baker made over $97 million in his time in the NBA. He was a 4 time NBA All Star and eventually played for 6 franchises in the time frame of his career. His alcoholism became a larger problem later in his career, after a 2007 arrest following a failed sobriety test. He then proceeded to mismanage millions of dollars with the help of some faulty financial advisors. This seems to be a reoccurring problem for successful athletes who are not equipped to handle large sums of money in their early 20s.

The 43 year old Baker now is training to become a manager for Starbucks. To some people this may come as a shock for someone who generated nearly $100 million in revenue but the fact of the matter is Baker is a father of four and has to do whatever he can to keep food on his families table. A Starbucks manager’s annual salary range between $48,000-$75,000, which depends on store growth and location. This provides Baker a unique opportunity to turn his legacy into a powerful story of perseverance and strength. Vin Baker is not the only former NBA star who had financial struggle and he won’t be the last but his new journey will be one that truly defines his character. 

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