Seven years ago, former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Kim Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the ensuing aftermath will change the way you feel about several NBA types significantly.
Up until Tuesday afternoon, the only functional knowledge I had of former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Kim Hughes was that he was, in fact, a former Los Angeles Clippers head coach, and that he once touched his elbows on the rim in a lay-up line at a high school tournament in Illinois, which really impressed my father.
Beyond that, nothing. Until Tuesday afternoon, when Howard Beck brought this column to Trey Kerby's attention, and he brought it to our attention. And now we're passing the feel-good savings on to you, in the form of an anecdote that reveals that NBA players Corey Maggette(notes), Marko Jaric(notes), Chris Kaman(notes) and Elton Brand(notes) all chipped in to pay for expensive life-saving surgery for Hughes, after the Clippers organization (read: Donald Sterling, noted worst person in the world) declined to cover the costs.
Declined to cover the cost of a surgery that would save their employee's life. While playing rent-free in an often sold-out arena in America's second-biggest television market. Unyieldingly evil.
Gary Woelfel has the original story:
"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."No, you're good, Corey Maggette. You're pretty fantastically good. And so are you, Marko Jaric, Elton Brand, and Chris Kaman.
Hughes said he will be forever grateful to Brand, Jaric, Kaman and Maggette. In fact, Hughes said every time he runs into any of them, he thanks them from the bottom of his heart.
Maggette said that was indeed the case, laughing how he has repeatedly told Hughes over the years it wasn't necessary.
"Kim thanks me every time he sees me; he does that every single time," Maggette said smiling. "I've said to him, 'Kim, come on. You don't have to do that. You're good.'
And Donald Sterling? You remain a terrible, terrible person.