Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/11/13
Baker was drafted 8th overall by the Bucks out of Hartford in 1993 and stuck with the team until 1997. The Bucks would be the first of six teams the four-time All-Star played with in his career   During his 13-season NBA career, which spanned from 1993 to 2006, Vin Baker made four All-Star games, earned over $105 million, and lost it all due to a brutal struggle with alcohol that took his home and livelihood from him. Nowadays, the 6-11 forward who grew up in Connecticut lives in a dorm room at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he is studying to earn a divinity degree. Certainly a far cry from partying it up after games with the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics, Knicks, Rockets, and Clippers.  As recalled wonderfully in a long and interesting piece, Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News goes through how Baker fell from being a NBA superstar to foreclosing on his Connecticut mansion and preaching at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.  Like many players across all professional sports who hit rock bottom and propped themselves back up, Baker credits a renewed faith in the man above for his rising above the addiction that cost him his highly lucrative NBA career. Towards the end of his tenure in the league, with the Knicks, Rockets, and Clippers, it was clear just how badly alcohol had taken a toll on Baker's life and physical frame as his once-slender frame ballooned in weight and the explosiveness and versatility that defined his value disappeared. It's just another story of how quick wealth all-too-tragically corrupted a rising star. Although Baker was a lucky one--he checked himself into rehab before it was too late--his story mirrors those of other young, ridiculously-talented players whose careers ended even before they started.  Two of the guys I had in mind with that sentence are Len Bias and Jay Williams, who had a great New York Times profile published about him this Saturday. Bias, a University of Maryland standout, was drafted 2nd overall by the Celtics in 1986 Draft, tragically died from a cocaine overdose on campus the day after he was picked by Boston. Another ACC product, Williams, saw his NBA career shattered after just one season with the Chicago Bulls after he got into a terrible motorcycle accident in Chicago that saw him stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. He attempted to get back into the game with a D-League stint but it fell through as his body just couldn't take the strain. Williams has seen a life rebirth of his own as he has become a prominent ESPN college basketball play-by-play man. Vin Baker's story, although less tragic than Bias' and less crushing than Williams', is still sad in many ways as someone with his talent and wealth saw all of it slip away because of a gripping alcohol addiction. That doesn't take away from the tough journey he has embarked on to re-invent himself as a man of the cloth and to put away his shady past. That journey, however uplifting, is a little sad with respect to how so many former NBA players have had to go on a similar one to rebound from the many awful ways in which many of their careers have ended. It's something way too prevalent in the sport. [follow]      
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Butler can’t sign one-year contract unless it’s with Bulls

DeAndre Jordan wants 4-year deal, bigger offensive role

USA-Germany: Rivals meet in World Cup semis

Kings reportedly looking into viability of firing Karl

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

MLB urges Supreme Court to deny San Jose's A's appeal

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson loves the Twitter criticism

Vikings RB McKinnon: If I had a fantasy team, I'd take myself

Report: Kings have had discussions with John Calipari

De’Andre Johnson charged with misdemeanor battery

MLB’s All-Star roster will now announced be over two days

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets

Blatter won’t attend World Cup final due to ‘personal reasons’

Sharks have found their starting goalie by acquiring Jones

Fan who caught A-Rod’s 3,000th says he’s received threats

Diamondbacks are contenders, but team's direction is unclear

Selecting the 2015 American League All-Stars

Jim Harbaugh is recruiting a prospect he once babysat

Conan makes Marshawn's wildest dreams come true

Brett Favre dons Packers jersey, says, 'I think I could still play'

Bo Knows, Bo Goes: Wisconsin feels pride and pain

Popovich won't call free agents at midnight, he'll be in bed

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.