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Old 10-04-2006, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Why did we? The story on signing of vin baker

Looking for perhaps the final stop in a career filled with All-Star appearances and alcohol problems, Vin Baker turned to two familiar faces.
He signed a nonguaranteed contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, coming to play for a former coach in Dwane Casey and a former mentor in Kevin McHale.
‘‘I just felt like it was the right fit,’’ said Baker, entering his 14th NBA season.
Baker worked with Casey when the coach was an assistant in Seattle and also volunteered at McHale’s basketball camp in Cape Cod, Mass., when Baker was in college at Hartford.
‘‘I know his issues. I know his disease,’’ Casey said. ‘‘But the core of Vin Baker’s a good person. Does that guarantee that he’s going to fight those demons and fight that situation? I can’t guarantee that. I know he is a good person.’’
The four-time All-Star averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in spot duty for the Los Angeles Clippers, and has averaged 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in 13 NBA seasons. He played with Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett on the Olympic team in 2000, but has also battled alcohol and depression issues.
He was cut by the Celtics midway through 2003-04 and later admitted to binge drinking in his hotel room after playing poorly and showing up to practice with alcohol on his breath.
‘‘It took that for me to grow as a person,’’ Baker said. ‘‘Where God has me right now, I’m very happy in my life. ... I just want to show fans and players in the league that you can overcome. If you stay with it and work hard, believe in yourself and trust in God, things can work out.’’
The Timberwolves hope he can act as a mentor to forward Eddie Griffin, who has struggled with alcoholism himself and had several run-ins with the law.
Baker said he looks forward to having the chance to help him. Baker spend the summer in Houston working out with former coach John Lucas, who specializes in helping players with drug and alcohol addictions, Griffin and a host of other NBA players.
‘‘I definitely hope I can be an inspiration on Eddie,’’ Baker said. ‘‘I certainly hope I can be an influence and help him. I think he’s a tremendous young talent and a tremendous young kid.’’
If he makes the team, Casey wants Baker to provide some of the veteran leadership lost when the Timberwolves cut ties with center Ervin Johnson before last season.
Baker, who turns 35 next month, said he feels great physically. Once weighing close to 300 pounds at the height of his troubles, Baker is a trim 250 and ready to help a thin Minnesota frontcourt.
‘‘I still think there’s a lot in the tank to offer,’’ Baker said. ‘‘I think I can come and help relieve Kevin, score down low. There’s a lot left and I’ve worked my butt off this summer to get ready to come and contribute.’’

i got this off the sports wire at work and didnt see it anywhere.
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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If the guy can keep off the booze, he will help us go to the playoffs easily.
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:00 AM   #3
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Maybe we did have a reason to get Baker

I’ve had no time this week, and currently have no time…so, here’s the word on the signing of Vin Baker from the fine folks at Rube Chat.

I would have been excited about this move 8 years ago, but now it just looks like a desperate move by McHale.

Did they sign him as a coach?

How come this happens every year? We go into the offseason thinking we might get some big changes and a serviceable big man, then McFail always waits till the last moment to get piece of crap “back up” plan. When will this guy give up? Worst run franchise, outside of the Baltimore Orioles possibly.

Seriously, people are acting as if the Wolves signed him to be their starting center or even to backup KG when that’s clearly not what’s happening.

I dislike McHale as much as anybody, but bashing him for the poor personnel moves that have brought us to this point and bashing the Baker signing are two different things. Now, if he had signed Baker to a guaranteed three-year contract using up the whole LLE, then it would be a different story. But this is the kind of low-risk move that can help a team plug holes.

Is this the same Vin Baker that’s fat, out of shape and 800 years old? Nice move McFail. What’s next, Moses Malone out of retirement?

This is a low risk move. Why not? At this point, the Wolves are going to have to take on “problem” players to have a chance at success. With a non-guaranteed contract, they can cut him if he sucks. I don’t see why people are complaining about this move.

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