Vincent (Vin) Lamont Baker (born November 23, 1971, in Lake Wales, Florida) was an American professional Basketball player in the NBA. He appeared in four consecutive NBAs before his career was troubled by Alcoholism.
After a college career at the University of Hartford, not far from where he grew up in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Baker was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 8th pick of the 1993 NBA Draft. 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. 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 have dropped considerably in recent years. After the 1998-99 NBA lockout season, 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 in the Boston Globe, Baker said Celtics coach Jim O'Brien (basketball) smelled alcohol on him in practice and confronted him about it. The team suspended him and he was eventually released. Baker would sign with the New York Knicks shortly thereafter and help them reach the playoffs in the 2003-04 NBA season.
Baker was traded to the Rockets with Moochie Norris for Maurice Taylor on February 24, 2005. The Rockets would ultimately release Baker on October 7, 2005. He would spend the 2005 in a reserve role with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Baker signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 1, 2006, reuniting him with head coach Dwane Casey, who served as an assistant coach when Vin was in Seattle. 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.
Baker was also a morning show DJ of Houston-based radio station KPTY-FM (Party 104.9) and has opened a seafood restaurant featuring Seafood by chef Todd Curtis in his hometown of Old Saybrook, CT. (Currently a bank is foreclosing this restaurant).
Vin Baker also 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 19, 2007, Baker was arrested in Norwich, Connecticut for drunk driving after leaving Foxwoods Resort Casino.
On June 21, 2008 ml-implode.com reported his 10,000 sq. ft. CT home has been foreclosed and put up for sale for $2.3 million.
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