FanDuel - WFBC

March 16, 2011

NBA Players Saved Coach's Life: After the Los Angeles Clippers refused to cover the prostate cancer surgery of assistant coach Kim Hughes seven years ago, players Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric did something unexpected. "Those guys saved my life," Hughes said. "They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn't cheap." Maggette said, "Kim was one of our coaches and he's a really good friend of mine, too. ... I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in need, to do something that Christ would do."

posted by rcade to basketball at 08:59 AM - 13 comments

And refusing treatment sounds like something Donald Sterling would do.

posted by yerfatma at 09:19 AM on March 16

Sadly, that was my first thought, too. Good for the players, though.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:39 AM on March 16

When is Christ going to do the right thing and smite Donald Sterling? If he could send me a time and date, I can set up the TV rights and we'll put a bundle in some church charity.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:06 AM on March 16

"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."

Not to defend Sterling, but is medical coverage ever this discretionary? The Clippers (or the NBA) presumably had an external insurance provider and Hughes was part of that plan as an employee. The surgery was not elective. How would the Clippers be in a position to decide whether specific surgeries would be covered or not?

posted by rcade at 10:11 AM on March 16

Good on the players. A similar story that I read recently about Shane Doan, captain of the Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets. During the lockout of 2004-05, the club stopped paying health insurance for the training staff. Doan paid for it out of his own pocket, the staff didn't know for years that he had paid the premiums. Phoenix Coyotes being guided by Shane Doan's conscience

posted by tommytrump at 10:12 AM on March 16

The surgery was not elective. How would the Clippers be in a position to decide whether specific surgeries would be covered or not?

I was wondering the same thing. Is it possible low-level assistant coaches don't get benefits? It does say this was seven years ago, so Hughes was just starting with the Clippers.

posted by yerfatma at 10:58 AM on March 16

rcade, not all procedures (necessary or otherwise) are covered by all insurance policies. So he could have been checking with the Clippers to find out if surgery was a covered treatment for prostate cancer, and it might not be covered by their insurance policies. Of course, this is just speculation, without actually reading the rider on the policy it'd be impossible to know if that's the case or if the Clippers were just being dicks.

posted by apoch at 11:36 AM on March 16

Thank god we don't have socialized medicine. This proves that market-driven medical care works best!

posted by afl-aba at 12:18 PM on March 16

Thank god we don't have socialized medicine. This proves that market-driven medical care works best!

At least he didn't have to appear before one of those evil Canadian Death Panels.

posted by tommytrump at 12:35 PM on March 16

Not to defend Sterling, but is medical coverage ever this discretionary?

Sterling never should have left the health care coverage decision to Dwight Schrute.

posted by cjets at 12:41 PM on March 16

The surgery was not elective. How would the Clippers be in a position to decide whether specific surgeries would be covered or not?

The Clippers might be self-insured. That is, they hire an insurance company to administer the benefits, including a determination of covered or not covered, but pay all the costs themselves. They also get to keep employee premiums, although these usually go to cover the administrative costs. It is a good thing that the players involved cared enough about their coach to do this.

When is Christ going to do the right thing and smite Donald Sterling?

I don't recall anything in the Gospels that suggests that Christ smote anyone. He did exorcise a lot of demons and then left them to destroy themselves (the story of the demons entering the swine and then drowning themselves comes to mind), but He never directly harmed anyone. Those whom he cured wanted to be cured. I'm not sure Donald Sterling has reached this point yet.

posted by Howard_T at 02:31 PM on March 16

Is it me, or is the title of this article a little overly dramatic? Would the hospital not do the surgery if he couldn't show proof of payment? Can they even do that? I'm no expert on California health care laws, but I know here in Michigan, hospitals cannot deny care to patients that have no resources for payment...

posted by MeatSaber at 04:39 PM on March 16

Is it me, or is the title of this article a little overly dramatic? Would the hospital not do the surgery if he couldn't show proof of payment? Can they even do that? I'm no expert on California health care laws, but I know here in Michigan, hospitals cannot deny care to patients that have no resources for payment...

Kinda pedantic, don't you think? Do you think they're getting too much credit for being great human beings?

That, and Kim himself said it in the article.

posted by dflemingecon at 05:01 PM on March 16

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