HARTFORD, Conn. -- Former NBA All-Star Vin Baker, whose
14-year career was marred by bouts of depression and alcoholism,
pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drunken driving.
Baker, 35, appeared briefly in Norwich Superior Court, then left
through a back entrance to avoid photographers.
It was one more public stumble for one of Connecticut's favorite
sons, who was an All-State player at Old Saybrook High before
breaking nearly every scoring record at the University of Hartford.
"We're working with him to get him back on track," Baker's
agent, Charles Grantham, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"It's a difficult time but we'll get it back together."
Grantham said he couldn't comment on the legal case. Baker's
lawyer James Spallone declined comment Tuesday, and Baker didn't
speak in court.
Baker, who lives in Durham, was spotted driving erratically
after leaving Foxwoods Resort Casino on June 19, according to a
state police report. He failed a sobriety test and was charged with
driving while impaired, police said.
State police described Baker's demeanor as cooperative.
A four-time All-Star forward, Baker averaged 15.0 points and 7.4
rebounds. The 6-foot-11 forward was a member of the U.S. gold
medal-winning Olympic team in 2000 and enjoyed his best seasons
with Milwaukee and Seattle.
Baker's alcoholism forced the Boston Celtics to cut him midway
through the 2003-04 season. He later admitted drinking in his hotel
room after playing poorly and showing up to practice with alcohol
on his breath.
He also played for New York, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers before being released by Minnesota six games into the
He is due back in court Aug. 9.