Blog Entry

Former Clipper players stepped up in crunch time

Posted on: March 15, 2011 12:07 pm
Posted by Royce Young

The story of former Clipper assistant and one time interim coach Kim Hughes was highlighted in the Journal Times today, and in that is the fact that after Hughes was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, the organization wouldn't pay for his treatment.

"I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn't be covered," Hughes said in the story. "I said, ‘Are you kidding me?' And they said if they did it for one person, they'd have to do for everybody else."

Of course this spawned a good amount of "Oh the Clippers" type of comments, even though they might not be entirely fair. (I mean, the Clippers do have a point.) But it made me think: Shouldn't the Clippers be the kind of organization that does the exact opposite of what happened here and go above an beyond? With the type of reputation the franchise has for screwing things up and doing things the wrong way, wouldn't they see this as an opportunity to make a statement the other direction?

But then of course, here's where you remember that Donald Sterling owns the franchise and he cares not for going above and beyond or the "right way".

The story doesn't end there though. Good thing, because I was depressed. In fact, it ends with some inspiration.
When 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.
Players stepped up, in a big way. The organization wouldn't cover the treatment so a couple players raised their hand. So while you can point at the Clippers and make a joke or two, the moral of the story is, you can still step up when someone else doesn't. That's what Maggette, Kaman, Brand and Jaric did for Hughes.

And by all accounts, Hughes is recovering well. Which in the end, is really all that matters.

Since: May 25, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:25 pm

Former Clipper players stepped up in crunch time

First off, let me thank the players involved for both their generosity and humility in enabling this man to get the medical treatment he needed to survive. Odds are the Clippers are probably self insured with a "stop loss" provision that covers them after a certain cost level is achieved. This surgery and treatment back then was mentioned in one article at approximately $70,000. That is way under the stop loss limits on any policy that I have seen in the last 15 years. Self insured means that a company or in this case the team would be liable for the first probably $200,000 or so of medical cost. At which time a separate policy by one of the regular insurance companies would kick in. 200 to 250 thousand dollars was an average stop loss policy amount at that time.
So, the same owner that did not know who Elgin Baylor was when he hired him as a GM, the same owner that has had one of the worst records in the NBA made basically a decision handing this coach a death sentence. Or, maybe the cheap a$$ owner never bothered to buy the policy in the first place.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Former Clipper players stepped up in crunch time

How many companies out there WOULD pay for an employees' medical expenses above and beyond what their medical plan already covers?

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 5:34 pm

Former Clipper players stepped up in crunch time

Got give my props to Kaman, Maggette, Brand and Jaric for stepping up and supporting there coach in his time of need. Shame on the Clippers for not making the effort to pay for the surgery. It just shows how lousy an owner they have in Sterling. Good luck Kim and god bless!

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