Ex-Boston Celtics lightning rod, current Bucks coach credits Cs org for his turning life around

Celtics v Warriors
Celtics v Warriors / Jed Jacobsohn/GettyImages

Former Boston Celtics lightning rod and current Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Vin Baker credits the Cs organization -- which, at the time, was led by current St. John's basketball coach, Rick Pitino -- for turning his life around.

"I'm glad that everything happened," Baker told Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson of Bovada Casino. "I’m glad that process started in Boston so that I can get back on the path of a sober life. At the time it didn’t feel good, but the people in Boston were great -- the ownership and just the people, they helped me turn my life around."

Baker added that he doesn't know that he would've made it as long as he did in the league in today's NBA given the social media distractions and constant access people now get to pro athletes.

" I think the stigma and the social media and everything that goes on now, I don’t think I would’ve made it that long in the NBA because of the cameras and everything is documented by the moment and by the minute," Baker prefaced before saying, "but I think that the biggest thing from back then and now is to remove the stigma of addiction and it’s a disease and whether you’re a superstar athlete or you’re someone who’s not an athlete, it’s an issue. And what I hope and do with the foundation and with my recovery centers is to remove the stigma of alcoholism and drug opioid use because it’s running rampant in our community."

Former Boston Celtics lightning rod Vin Baker calls Dame and Giannis the modern Kobe and Shaq

Addressing his current team, the Bucks, Baker hyped up Dame Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the next Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

" So I see a Shaq and Kobe dynamic, from a talent standpoint," Baker prefaced before saying, "We have two NBA Top 75 players on our roster and we also have Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton… we also have a bunch of great players but with Dame and Giannis; and not even with their greatness as players, the thing that I’m most fascinated by daily is being around them is their humility. Like, you couldn’t have picked two more perfect people to go together -- not players, but perfect people. They’re both humble, they both want to win a championship and they both have extreme talent."

So, a few things. First, Lillard's defensive impact is nowhere close to Bryant's. Or Jrue Holiday's, but we all knew that before the latter took the Boston Celtics by storm and the former, well, didn't do that in Milwaukee. The Kobe comparison falls flat on that premise, but to Lillard's credit, he's also a much superior long-range shooter than Bryant was.

Second, Dame and Giannis's humility makes them the anti-Kobe and Shaq. There was nothing humble about that pair. And for good reason, to be fair.