Clippers Refused to Pay for Assistant Coach’s Cancer Surgery

by March 15, 2011

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, โ€˜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.'”