The name’s James: Cardinals’ Budda Baker goes incognito at a bar

May 24, 2022, 9:00 AM
Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe....
Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Sometimes professional athletes want to have a quiet night out.

Most times that’s not possible given their status.

So instead of staying cooped up in their own confines, players have come up with a way to go largely unnoticed while out in public: use a different name.

Just ask Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, who decided he wanted to go out to grab a few “waters” at a local establishment the other night.

Or should we say James?

“I talked to a couple people, my name was James,” Baker told reporters Monday. “It was cool, I had a good time, had a couple waters. Had a good time.

“It was pretty dark in there so I just walked in there, sat by myself and was just like, ‘I’ll drink this water.'”

Baker was more than prepared for the solo night out, even preparing a backstory if it came down to it.

“We didn’t get to that extent but if they would have asked my profession I probably would have said I’m a dentist or something like that.

“They’d be like, ‘You’re a dentist? How old are you?’ And I’m like, ’45.'”

Baker isn’t the only Cardinal to mix it up name-wise, either.

But instead of using a completely different name, former Sun Devil Eno Benjamin gets creative with his own.

“I would just say I go by my last name,” Benjamin told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Monday. “So just Ben, like if I were to order food on DoorDash or anything like that, I’ll just put my last name and middle initial instead of first and last name.”

More power to you, Ben and James the dentist.


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