Vin Baker

American professional basketball player

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Vin Baker
Lipofsky-Vin Baker.jpg
Baker with the SuperSonics in 2001
Milwaukee Bucks
PositionAssistant coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1971-11-23) November 23, 1971 (age 50)
Lake Wales, Florida
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High schoolOld Saybrook
(Old Saybrook, Connecticut)
CollegeHartford (1989–1993)
NBA draft1993 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1993–2006
PositionPower forward / Center
Number42, 34
Coaching career2018–present
Career history
As player:
19931997Milwaukee Bucks
19972002Seattle SuperSonics
20022004Boston Celtics
20042005New York Knicks
2005Houston Rockets
2006Los Angeles Clippers
As coach:
2018–presentMilwaukee Bucks (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As a player:

As assistant coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points11,839 (15.0 ppg)
Rebounds5,867 (7.4 rpg)
Assists1,509 (1.9 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Vincent Lamont Baker (born November 23, 1971) is an American former professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He appeared in four consecutive All-Star Games. As of 2021, Baker serves as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

High school and college basketball career

High school

Baker played for Old Saybrook High School in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. He first started on Old Saybrook's varsity in his junior year.[1] Baker was passed over by the bigger Division I schools and signed a scholarship offer from the Hartford Hawks.

College

During Baker's inaugural season in 1989, he averaged on 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, which earned him a place on the North Atlantic Conference (now America East Conference) All-Rookie Team. Named a starter for his sophomore season, Baker averaged 19.7 PPG and 10.4 RPG and a first team All-NAC spot. As a Junior, Baker averaged 27.6 PPG (2nd in the country), 9.9 RPG, and 3.7 blocks per game (5th in the country), though the team finished with an abysmal 6–21 record. Entering his final season, Baker was called "America's Best-Kept Secret" by Sports Illustrated [2] and the conference's most dominant player since Reggie Lewis by Street & Smith's College/Prep Basketball Preview in 1992.[3] Baker averaged 28.3 PPG (4th in the country) and finished with 792 points in only 28 games, a conference record that still remains in the NAC. He finished with 2,238 points, a school record that still stands. However, Baker was not able to translate his immense scoring abilities into team success, as none of his teams ever made the NCAA tournament, and the best his Hartford teams ever finished in a season was .500 (14–14).

Baker's jersey (#42) hangs on the east wall of Chase Arena in the Reich Family Pavilion.[4]

NBA career

Milwaukee Bucks

After a college career at the University of Hartford, Baker was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 8th pick of the 1993 NBA draft. He played four seasons in Milwaukee, during which he was the leading star (alongside Glenn Robinson) and received three all-star selections.

On March 14, 1995, Baker recorded a triple double, with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists, in a win against the Charlotte Hornets.[5] On April 11, 1995, Baker scored 31 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and recorded 9 assists in a 114–100 victory over the Detroit Pistons.[6]

During the 1995–96 and 1996–97 seasons, Baker averaged at least 21.0 points.[7]

On March 1, 1997, Baker recorded a career-high 6 blocks, alongside 20 points and 15 rebounds, in a 103–92 loss against the Sacramento Kings.[8]

Despite his personal success as a player while in Milwaukee, the Bucks were not able to make the postseason during his tenure with the team.[9]

Seattle SuperSonics

After four seasons with the Bucks, he was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics following the 1996–97 NBA season in a three-team deal that sent Tyrone Hill and Terrell Brandon to the Bucks, and Shawn Kemp and Sherman Douglas to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Baker helped the SuperSonics to a strong 1997-98 NBA season and a first round win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while proving to be a valuable replacement for Kemp. On May 12, 1998, in a decisive Game 5 of a hard-fought Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers (both teams finished the season with a 61–21 record, though Seattle had home-court advantage due to a tiebreaker), Baker led Seattle with 29 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort.[10]

On February 1, 2000, Baker scored 33 points, recorded 5 assists, and 5 rebounds, in a 104–96 victory against Karl Malone and the Jazz.[11]

Boston Celtics

After four years in Seattle, Baker was traded to the Boston Celtics with Shammond Williams for Kenny Anderson, Vitaly Potapenko and Joseph Forte. While his career averages include 15.1 points per game, his numbers had dropped considerably in the twenty-first century. After the 1998–99 NBA lockout season in Seattle, Baker's weight ballooned to near 300 pounds and his game suffered tremendously. While Baker was able to get his weight down to around 250, Baker revealed that he was a recovering alcoholic who used to binge in hotel rooms and at home after playing poorly. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Baker said Celtics coach Jim O'Brien smelled alcohol on him in practice and confronted him about it.[12] The team suspended him and he was eventually released.

New York Knicks

Baker would sign with the New York Knicks. The team reached the playoffs in the 2003–04 NBA season.

Houston Rockets

Baker was traded to the Rockets with Moochie Norris for Maurice Taylor on February 24, 2005.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Rockets would ultimately release Baker on October 7, 2005.[13] He would spend the 2005–06 NBA season in a reserve role with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Baker signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 1, 2006, reuniting him with head coach Dwane Casey, who served as an assistant coach when Baker was in Seattle.[14] His tenure in Minnesota would be short-lived, though. Baker was released from the Timberwolves on November 13, 2006. He never played in a regular season game after being on the inactive list for the first six games.[15]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
* Led the league

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1993–94 Milwaukee 82 63 31.2 .501 .200 .569 7.6 2.0 .7 1.4 13.5
1994–95 Milwaukee 82 82 41.0* .483 .292 .593 10.3 3.6 1.0 1.4 17.7
1995–96 Milwaukee 82 82 40.5 .489 .208 .670 9.9 2.6 .8 1.1 21.1
1996–97 Milwaukee 78 78 40.5 .505 .278 .687 10.3 2.7 1.0 1.4 21.0
1997–98 Seattle 82 82 35.9 .542 .143 .591 8.0 1.9 1.1 1.0 19.2
1998–99 Seattle 34 31 34.2 .453 .000 .450 6.2 1.6 .9 1.0 13.8
1999–2000 Seattle 79 75 36.1 .455 .250 .682 7.7 1.9 .6 .8 16.6
2000–01 Seattle 76 27 28.0 .422 .063 .723 5.7 1.2 .5 1.0 12.2
2001–02 Seattle 55 41 31.1 .485 .125 .633 6.4 1.3 .4 .7 14.1
2002–03 Boston 52 9 18.1 .478 .000 .673 3.8 .6 .4 .6 5.2
2003–04 Boston 37 33 27.0 .505 .000 .732 5.7 1.5 .6 .6 11.3
2003–04 New York 17 0 18.4 .404 .500 .711 4.1 .7 .4 .5 6.6
2004–05 New York 24 0 8.0 .342 .000 .467 1.5 .4 .1 .2 1.4
2004–05 Houston 3 0 4.3 .000 .000 1.000 .7 .3 .0 .0 .7
2005–06 L.A. Clippers 8 1 10.6 .467 .000 .722 2.4 .5 .5 .5 3.4
Career 791 604 32.5 .485 .215 .638 7.4 1.9 .7 1.0 15.0
All-Star 4 0 17.5 .419 .000 .750 6.0 .7 .5 .2 8.7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1998 Seattle 10 10 37.1 .530 .000 .421 9.4 1.8 1.8 1.5 15.8
2000 Seattle 5 4 35.4 .400 .000 .588 7.6 2.0 1.0 .4 14.0
2002 Seattle 5 4 28.8 .500 1.000 .778 5.0 .8 .6 1.2 13.2
2004 New York 4 0 14.3 .571 .000 .667 3.0 .3 .8 .5 5.5
Career 24 18 31.2 .491 .500 .534 7.0 1.4 1.2 1.0 13.2

Other endeavors

Baker has a non-profit foundation called the Stand Tall Foundation. The Stand Tall Foundation is an organization that helps give kids a better future by financially assisting with different charitable and volunteer organizations. The goal of the Stand Tall Foundation is to help young people with their education, personal development and general well-being.

On June 3, 2011, Baker was hired as an assistant high school boys basketball coach at St. Bernard School in Uncasville, Connecticut.[16]

In 2014, Baker was named to a team assembled by Dennis Rodman as part of his "basketball diplomacy" effort in North Korea; the team was assembled to play an exhibition game against the North Korean Senior National Team to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong-un.[17]

As of December 2015, Baker was managing a Starbucks location in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.[18] Baker later became Fox Sports Milwaukee's home team broadcaster.[19]

In 2017, Baker became the head of the basketball department at Camp Greylock.[20]

As of 2019, Baker serves as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.[21] He won a championship with the Bucks in that role during 2021.

On July 18, 2020, The Vin Baker Foundation hosted a 5k run called "Addiction Ends Here".[22]

Personal life

Baker's mother is Jean Baker. His father, Rev. James Baker, is an auto mechanic and Baptist minister.[23] Baker has a wife and four children.[24]

On June 19, 2007, Baker was arrested in Norwich, Connecticut for drunk driving after leaving Foxwoods Resort Casino.[25]

On June 21, 2008 ml-implode.com reported that Baker's 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) Durham, Connecticut home was foreclosed and put up for sale for $2.3 million.[26] The house was purchased by U.S. Bank for $2.5 million at an auction on June 28, 2008.[27] Baker reportedly lost over $100 million due to financial troubles.[28]

Baker has struggled with depression and alcoholism. Baker cites these issues as the main reason his career seemingly derailed out of nowhere.[29] In 2013, the New York Daily News reported that he had stopped drinking alcohol on April 17, 2011.[30]


See also

References

  1. ^ "He lost more than $100 million, now former NBA All-Star Vin Baker is using his path to sobriety to help influence others". February 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "America's Best-kept Secret". CNN. November 23, 1992.
  3. ^ 1992 Street & Smith's College/Prep Basketball Preview OCLC 14589910
  4. ^ "Celebrating 25 Years: Vin Baker's Career".
  5. ^ "Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, March 14, 1995".
  6. ^ "Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, April 11, 1995".
  7. ^ "Vin Baker Stats".
  8. ^ "Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, March 1, 1997".
  9. ^ "Vin Baker Stats".
  10. ^ "Los Angeles Lakers at Seattle SuperSonics Box Score, May 12, 1998".
  11. ^ "Seattle SuperSonics at Utah Jazz Box Score, February 1, 2000".
  12. ^ "Boston.com / Sports / Basketball / Celtics / Baker: I'm an alcoholic". archive.boston.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "Houston Rockets News Headlines".
  14. ^ "Wolves sign Vin Baker to non-guaranteed contract". ESPN.com. October 2, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
  15. ^ "Vin diesels out of Minnesota as Wolves release Baker". ESPN.com. November 13, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
  16. ^ "Stonington ousted in Class S softball quarterfinals". The Bulletin. Stonington, Connecticut: Gatehouse Media, Inc. June 4, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  17. ^ "Rodman's Goon Squad Goes to North Korea". The Daily Beast. January 7, 2014.
  18. ^ Reife, Stephanie (December 17, 2015). "Former NBA Player Vin Baker: From Big Bucks to Starbucks". WNPR. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  19. ^ NBA Got Game TV (October 3, 2017), The Tragic NBA Story of Vin Baker, retrieved October 12, 2017[dead YouTube link]
  20. ^ "Vin Baker reinventing self as summer camp director". ESPN.com. June 23, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  21. ^ "For Milwaukee Bucks players, assignments with Wisconsin Herd bring NBA success".
  22. ^ "The Vin Baker Foundation "Addiction Ends Here" Virtual 5k".
  23. ^ Harrison, Don (August 11, 1996). "Rising Star Already a Big Name at Camp". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Augustine, Bernie (July 29, 2015). "Former NBA All-Star Vin Baker working as a Starbucks barista, training to become franchise manager". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  25. ^ "Ex-player Vin Baker charged with drunken driving". ESPN.com. June 19, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  26. ^ Vin Baker Joins List Of Athlete Home Foreclosures. CNBC.com July 1, 2008
  27. ^ The Famous and Foreclosured Trutv.com, Retrieved December 22, 2008
  28. ^ "Ex-NBA center Vin Baker now working at Starbucks: Report". CNBC. July 29, 2015.
  29. ^ "Failed Businesses and Addiction Cost Vin Baker $100 Million". June 28, 2020.
  30. ^ "Former NBA All-Star Vin Baker rebounds from life of booze and excess with help from Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem". New York Daily News.

External links

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