retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Have you read the stories about Vin Baker, the four-time NBA all-star who played for six franchises over a period of 13 seasons, earning more than $97 million during his career?

These days, the 43-year-old Baker works at a Rhode Island Starbucks as a barista, and is training to be a store manager. He has none of his NBA money left, having struggled with alcoholism during his career and squandered his fortune on stuff he didn't need and people that were there for the money, not the friendship.

"I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune," he tells . "I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I’m a father. I’m a minister in my father’s church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back."

Good for him. Baker's willingness to go back to the beginning and rebuild his life is testimony to the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong - especially these days. There are second acts in American lives.

Baker's commitment to change his life, and to being so public about his failures, is certainly an Eye-Opener ... and a demonstration of real character.

And by the way ... kudos to Starbucks for hiring him.
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