Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  53 responses

Clippers Refused to Pay for Assistant Coach’s Cancer Surgery

Here comes yet another shining example of just how wonderful a person Clippers team owner Donald Sterling is. Via the Journal Times: “Kim Hughes was in trouble, more trouble than he ever envisioned. While working as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers seven years ago, Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer … ‘I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn’t be covered,’ Hughes said. ‘I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And they said if they did it for one person, they’d have to do for everybody else.’ When [Mike] Dunleavy learned the Clippers wouldn’t cover the cost of Hughes’ surgery, he mentioned it to his players. Several of them, including now Milwaukee Bucks forward Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric, were taken aback by the news and decided to offer their assistance. ‘Kim was one of our coaches and he’s a really good friend of mine, too,’ Maggette said. ‘He was in a situation where the Clippers’ medical coverage wouldn’t cover his surgery. I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in need, to do something that Christ would do. ‘It shows your humanity, that you care for other people and not just yourself. Kim was in a life-and-death situation.’ It was indeed a dicey time for Hughes. After a biopsy was taken, he learned his prostate cancer was much worse than he believed. The cancer had quickly spread and was on the brink of moving to other areas of his body. If Hughes had delayed the surgery, and if Maggette and his teammates hadn’t provided the necessary financial assistance, Hughes doesn’t know what would have occurred. Well, actually, he does. ‘Those guys saved my life,’ Hughes said. ‘They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn’t cheap. It showed you what classy people they are. They didn’t want me talking about it; they didn’t want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do.’”

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  • arthur

    Jesus, they were going to let him die? I can’t believe he stayed with the organisation afterwards

  • rkirby

    Donald sterling rly isn’t any different than any other owner of a sports franchise or a corporation. Sad but true.

  • sefos

    Sterling is despicable. can’t the other owners vote him out of the league or something? or maybe clipper fans can boycott the team until he quits. the players will suffer too, but as soon as the old asshole starts losing more and more money, he’ll sell the team

  • http://bulls.com airs

    gotta be kidding me, that’s just horrible. glad those players stepped up though. wow.


    So it was about $15,000 from each player im assuming. Chump change 4 them. But it was 4 a good cause. Much props 2 all of them. Seems like everything from Sterling emanates negativity. What an @sshole


    ^ my bad. I though it was 5 players. Still tho. Kudos

  • vtrobot

    wow. that’s disgusting. i would never buy a clippers ticket and support that f*cking creep’s business. what a generous display by those players. great job stepping up and saving a man’s life.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Stay classy Clippers.

  • T-Money

    As an NBA writer pointed out, the Lakers paid for Turiaf’s heart surgery even though he wasn’t under contract anymore. Decency.

  • JTaylor21

    Another story that the media won’t run showing the great things NBA players do but wait until a player gets into trouble, it would be front page news.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    ^^good point JTaylor21.

  • Saku 39

    You somewhat have a point, but:

    “They didn’t want me talking about it; they didn’t want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do.”

  • RobbieJay

    JTaylor is right, nobody talks about how Ron Artest donates so much to special need charities;

  • RunNGun

    Typical Donald Sterling…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Donald Sterling is evil personified.

  • Byebye

    Remember no matter how much Money you have it’s not chump change it’s money

  • jadamang

    when blake gets to be a free agent he should leave that goes for any young player they have that want to play for a real organization….how much dinero does sterling have(BUM!!!!!)

  • T-Money

    byebye: very good point that is lost on a lot of people.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Maybe Sterling won’t even pay for his own grave?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    lol JTaylor21. Good point, but Slam just covered it!

  • http://simonlawy888.blogspot.com Simon Lawy

    Screw you!!! Sterling

  • yes.we.did.

    Props to jaric kaman brand and maggette. That’s how you take care of your own

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    The worst owner in all of sports strikes again.

  • SpursFan

    Does Sterling have a soul?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    People say $15,000 is chump change, then get pissed when players blow that on Jewelry or clothes.
    That doesn’t make sense. If it’s chump change, then it doesn’t matter what they spend it on. If it’s important what they spend it on, then it’s not really chump change.
    Everybody wants to spend other people’s money.

  • skillet forilla

    ^^^ he has many. he enjoys prodding the with his pitchfork.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    “Remember no matter how much Money you have it’s not chump change it’s money “.

    sure. but i think a man’s life might be more important than probably 1/32 of what sterling has. its something called compassion, a point that is lost on a lot of people.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^Nah, he was talking about the comment that noted the money was only “chump chagne” for the players.

  • Bryan

    Assistant coaches in the NBA don’t have health benefits? I find this hard to believe. Is this the same for other teams or just the Clips?


    Crucify me why don’t ya. Mayb I should have said: $15,000 is a small amount compared 2 what they actually get paid. There. Can we move on?

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Would like to hear what the Philosopher has to say about this one.
    I for one am now convinced that Sterling is a piece of dung…

  • http://bulls.com airs

    in that case, peace and chickengrease everyone

  • izzo

    Interesting choice of headline.




    If Donald Sterling actually showed some compassion, thats when Amazing Happens

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I wasn’t trying to down you, just point out that calling it chump change seems like an attempt to demean what they did.
    Yeah, it wasn’t a a huge chunk of their salaries, but it was still a lot of money.


    And n no way was I downplayin what they did. Like I said n my comment, much props 2 them, kudos and it was 4 a good cause. They saved a human life. I felt like my words were blown out of proportion. But its cool. No hard feelings

  • bouncyman

    It’s interesting to me that Coach Dunleavy brought it up to his players, but it doesn’t mention anything about Dunleavy himself actually contributing anything. Also don’t most coaches make at least 6 figures? How did Kim Hughes not have $70,000 to pay for the surgery himself? Anyway props to the players for stepping up for someone that was apparently in need.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    $70k is no joke, no matter how much money you make

  • http://slamonline.com zoom

    That’s pretty awesome that those players chipped in to save a life. Who’s actually shocked that Sterling wouldn’t help this assistant? Although unrelated I must say that the only thing that continues to amaze me is how David Stern focuses so much energy on policing the speech and behaviors of coaches and players while Sterling is allowed to operate however he pleases. No matter how many times he publicly makes a fool of himself, Stern never has anything to say about him. His lack of action or even comment on Sterling really says a lot about Stern.

  • http://www.redcross.org/ Felix

    Based on Sterling’s rep, he probably doesn’t pay coaches that much compared to other teams… Kobe should have been talking about Sterling “Ship his ass outta here”

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign zoom.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher


  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Go to a Clippers game, line the devils pockets.

  • the nerve

    erbody callin sterling this n that. yall ni99as surprised??!! pshh. he aint no different from some ni99as who post up here man. lottayall chumps gat that same mental. judging muthafukkas when some of yall just like that dude.

  • Clydesays

    Sterling is worth almost 2 BILLION dollars. The fact that he wouldn’t help out one of his employees with a life-threatening illness, not even for good PR, should tell you all you need know about him. I’m sure most NBA owners aren’t saints, but Sterling really stands head and shoulders above the rest.

  • gregor

    Also cosign Zoom.

  • Danno

    His ugly mug is posted all over the LA Times for his supposed generosity. Whats up with this ???

  • http://twitter.com/futureprobe1982 futureprobe1982

    Donald Sterling wishes he was classy enough to be compared to a bag of garbage. The man is lower than filth.

    That being said, what does it say about David Stern that he’d rather have this guy as an owner than have a franchise in Seattle?

  • slamfan4life

    we love u, sterling

  • HarryD

    WOW… there IS an owner worse that Jim Dolan!!

  • Toni Guerra

    He will have his day in hell!

  • dsleepy

    respect to the those players, very generous on their part. in comparison, the extremely rich dude who signs their checks looks like the miser he is.