From the “This Is Really Awesome” files comes this story regarding Kim Hughes, former Los Angeles Clippers head coach, and his fight with prostate cancer. Read the Journal Times’ whole article because it’ll really make you happy, but here’s the quick background information: Seven years ago,Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer, told he needed surgery that could wait, went for a second opinion and was told that the cancer was growing faster than originally thought.

Now you’re caught up and now’s when it gets good, right after it gets bad again. Gary Woelfel explains:

“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 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.”

Leaving out the fact that the Clippers refused to cover Hughes’ surgery — a very Clippers thing to do, even though it’s not terribly uncommon because medical insurance in the United States is painfully stupid — isn’t that great? Isn’t it impossible to dislike Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric now that you know they helped pay for a coach’s medical bills? Puts smile on your face and smiling is the best.

Even better, seven years later, Hughes is cancer-free and still thanks these guys every time he sees them. Naturally, they say it’s not necessary, that they were just helping a friend. For his part, Maggette says, “It was just my time to serve another human being.” So great.

(via Howard Beck)

Comments (7)

  1. Fuck Donald Sterling.

  2. Damn you for this story, Yert Kerbz. Corey Maggette has always been one of my most hated opposition players, but now I have to see him in a positive light. :-)

  3. Seriously fuck Donald Sterling, I love the Clippers squad right now but they’re not going to do shit until they get a new owner.

  4. Let’s not forget the fact that the Clippers didn’t help their coach with his situation. Great article by Aaron Wojnarowski on Yahoo Sports about the other crap Sterling tries to push and Stern’s silence on everything the worst owner in history has done.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AkTV7_KVH.H_X.riKZEiSag5nYcB?slug=aw-sternnba031511

  5. Those 4 indivduals are great heroes and have golden hearts

    May god bless them !!!

  6. Yes. Medical insurance in the US is painfully stupid. Literally and figuratively.

  7. What’s this unnecessary business about the lack of coverage being because “medical insurance in the United States is painfully stupid.” I’ve never worked for a company that did not have health insurance and every insurance plan I’ve had would have covered any life threatening surgery. I’ve got spinal nerve issues that aren’t emergencies that will require expensive surgery in the tens of thousands and it will be covered. Even lousy insurance plans ususally cover catastrophies like that of Mr. Hughes, and though there might be a high deductible, certainly most of the $70,000 here would have been paid. There’s no excuse for the Clippers to not have such basic insurance as do my secretaries and file clerks. This is a Clipper issue plain and simple.

    On the other hand, there’s some level of personal responsibility that we all have to ensure that we are covered for major health emergencies by our employers’ plan. I would not work for the Clippers knowing what I know, or if I did, I would ensure I purchased a separate health plan to cover events like this. The allure of coaching in the NBA may cause some to overlook certain problems with their employer.

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