Finally, NBA star wakes up and smells coffee

HE WAS a four-time NBA All Star who made more than $A130 million during his 13 seasons with six different teams.

But now Vin Baker is working at Starbucks as he tries to rebuild his life after squandering his fortune.

Baker, who battled alcoholism during and after his career, told the Providence Journal: "When you make choices and decisions and think that it will never end, and then you get into spending and addiction and more spending, it's a definite formula for losing.

"I would insist that you surround yourself with the person you trust the absolute most, someone who can tell you, 'You're wrong, don't buy that, don't go there, that person's no good," the 43-year-old said.

Research shows up to 80% of athletes in the NBA and NFL go bankrupt within five years of retirement, despite making an average of more than $A7m a season in the NBA and $2.6m in the NFL.