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Once an NBA All-Star, Now a Barista Part 1

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Remember when the guy that made your coffee used to just be the “coffee guy?” We got our coffee from a waitress in a place like Denny’s. Coffee was something you had with food, and you only had two choices; regular or decaf.

    Coffee Coffee Everywhere

    Now the coffee guy is a “barista” and we have a slew of different drink options available. We have to know at least a few invented words from a seemingly artificial language just to get the size we want. And for what a whole meal used to cost (including coffee) at Denny’s, now we just get the drink. But at least there’s one on every corner.

    With the proliferation of Starbucks and the invention of the barista that followed, we have created a coffee-based retail economy. For those who work in the industry, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Starbucks is known for offering great health and retirement benefits, as well as paid training and room for advancement.

    Now you are probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with the NBA?”

    You’ll just have to read on and learn.

    From Hero to…

    Does anyone remember Vin Baker? Anyone who watched basketball 10 to 20 years ago would. He’s almost 7 feet tall. He was an all-star four times. He played for 13 seasons, and he made 100 million dollars doing it.

    Unfortunately, Vin also was an alcoholic throughout most of his career. He was able to contain it for years, but eventually it took its toll on his playing. Worse still, it clouded his judgment. After years of $15,000 suits, $2,000 pairs of shoes, and $10,000 dinners with his entourage, his 100 million dollars was gone.

    In part 2, we will learn exactly what Vin Baker and Starbucks have in common, and we will see one man’s dignified fight to get back on the right track.





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