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Vin Baker auctioning off his 2000 Gold Medal from Sydney Olympics

Aug 1, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Vin Baker of the USA Getty Images

We tend forget just how good Vin Baker was for a stretch in the 1990s — a four-time All-Star who averaged 21 and 10 in 1997 for the Bucks — or that he was a member of the 2000 Olympic team in Sydney.

You tend to remember the Vin Baker who was battling alcoholism toward the end of his career, the one that has had financial issues after he left the game. (He quit drinking and is in seminary school, according to a story about him from last year.)

Now he has put the gold medal he won at the 2000 Olympics up for auction, something pointed out by Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. Gray Flannel Auctions has the item up for bid.

The gold-plated silver medal weighs 6.85 oz, is 5mm thick and measures 68mm across. It is attached to a 39” turquoise-blue ribbon embroidered with “SYDNEY 2000” in silver. The medal features a design by Australian designer Wojciech Pietranik; it depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, seated above the stadium and chariot along with “XXVII OLYMPIAD SYDNEY 2000”. This translates to “Games of the 27th Olympiad Sydney 2000”.

The biddings starts at a cool $35,000 and is open until Aug. 20.

Baker did play in Sydney, appearing in all eight USA games and averaging 8 points and 3 boards a game. That team was led by Vince Carters’s 14 points a game while Kevin Garnett (10.8) and Alonzo Mourning (10.2) chipped in.

  1. hojo20 - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Sad. I guess his mega-lawsuit against Brodeur, his CPA/professional advisor didn’t pan out, so he has to resort to this.

  2. loubearkane - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Vin was a great player that had to play and deal with Mental Illness when it wasn’t really something publicly acknowledged (not that it really is today) Best of luck Vin with your future endeavours.

  3. bougin89 - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    I was always confused why the Bucks got rid of Baker before his “prime years” when he looked like he could be one of the best bigs in the game, then it was very apparent they knew what we didn’t. The guy was an uncontrolled party animal. He spent his “prime years” regressing instead of progressing.

    • 6thsense10 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      He wasn’t a party animal. He was an alcoholic. Plenty of times he would sit at home and drink by himself. I don’t even recall any incidents of him partying.

      • bougin89 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Lol. Yeah…right…

        He has at least one DUI and I’m sure an aolcoholic NBA player only drank by himself. Sure. *rolls eyes*

      • 6thsense10 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Are you serious? A DUI means you were partying? Or are you using your simpleton logic to conclude that he ONLY drank at home when I said PLENTY of times he would sit and drink from home. The guy was a clinical alcoholic. If it were just a case of too much partying half the players would be out the league. But Baker was not a partier.

  4. dacapt704 - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM


  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    The struggle is real.

  6. duhwighthoward - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Silver is about $20/ounce right now and gold is at $1,300.

    There is no way anyone would pay $35,000 for Vin Baker’s medal.

    If he’s lucky, he can pawn it off for a G.

    • 6thsense10 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      So do you go to art auctions and say painting canvas is $50…paint is $10 and the frame is $30…..there’s now way I’m paying you $2000 for that painting?

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        No. The point I was trying to make was that it is Vin Baker’s medal, which no one on earth would want.

        There are no Vin Baker fans.

      • dablakdrphil - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        I don’t believe his Gold Medal has his name personally written on it so in that case it makes for a good auction. Im sure several people are going to bid for that Gold Medal to own ” a piece of US History”

  7. twinfan24 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Pretty sad that he made millions and is now in rough enough shape to need to sell stuff off for $35,000 (or wherever he hopes the auction might get up to).

    As to the comment above about no one being a Vin Baker fan, who cares? It is a gold medal for Team USA. If money isn’t an object to you, why wouldn’t you want a gold medal? I don’t have that kind of money to waste, but enough people probably do.

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