July 10, 2021 – “There was a point where it was just waiting for the train to crash,” Baker told The Times. “You know how that goes. Like people get into situations like mine where they lose this and they lose that. The next natural story is, ‘Vin Baker, boom. Something’s happened.’ He is a preacher’s son from a small shoreline Connecticut town who was formally introduced to the basketball world in a 1992 Sports Illustrated profile titled “America’s Best Kept Secret.” In the accompanying photo, Baker is flashing a huge smile in his red University of Hartford uniform while students surround him with fingers pressed to their pursed lips.

He’d never had a drink before he got to college. He was terrified of drugs, especially cocaine, because of the overdose death of Len Bias in 1986. The Bucks took Baker eighth in the 1993 draft, and by his second year he was an All-Star.

Baker was nearly 7 feet tall but gifted with more than a big man’s skills. Think Anthony Davis squaring up from 20 feet on one end, then rejecting a shot at the rim on the other.



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