Kim Hughes Rumors

Trail Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes has been fired by the team, The Oregonian/Oregonlive has learned, days after his comments to an Indiana television station about the future of free agent LaMarcus Aldridge went viral. NBA.com was the first with knowledge of the move and The Oregonian confirmed it. “We can confirm Mr. Hughes is no longer with the team,” Neil Olshey, Blazers president of basketball operations, said on Saturday. “It is our policy to otherwise refrain from commenting on personnel matters.” Hughes, who has been the Blazers’ big man coach for the past three seasons, told WTHI television that Aldridge was leaving the Blazers in free agency, which enraged team officials, who said Hughes had no knowledge of the team’s free agent proceedings. The Terre Haute, Ind., station was interviewing Hughes while he was at a camp held by Blazers forward Meyers Leonard in Leonard’s hometown of Robinson, Ill. “Well, people don’t realize we just went young,” Hughes said in the interview. “We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn’t been declared yet, but I’m sure he won’t come back. We will go young.”
The former trainer of the Los Angele Clippers in the NBA, Kim Hughes, last Thursday trained over 70 Algerian trainers in Algiers. At the centre of the day was the « Pick and roll ». A system that constitutes 80 percent of attacks in Basketball. This technique poses a lot of threat to the defensive setup and poses a lot of problems to defenders to regain the ball. It is a system that neutralizes a defender and proposes a solution to the player in possession of the ball. It is a technique that implies playing without the ball. Players of the Algerian men’s basketball team were equally present at this workshop.
There was no self-promoting going on seven years ago, not a single news release when four NBA players got together to help pay for a life- saving operation for their mentor and coach. “They were not seeking attention,” Kim Hughes said Tuesday. “Clearly they did it for the right reasons. When I first had the surgery, I didn’t know what they had done until my wife, Christy, told me. I was totally shocked.”
Yes, Stern’s silence and inaction on Sterling’s despicable behavior has to be considered as some level of approval. Now, Kim Hughes tells the story to the Racine (Wis.) Journal-Times about how Sterling didn’t pay for his prostate cancer surgery as a Clippers assistant coach several years ago. Clippers players contributed much of the $70,000 needed to take care of the costs that weren’t covered by Hughes’ medical insurance. And once Sterling fires those coaches and scouts, he often stops paying the balance of their contracts. He dares them to sue. Some can, and do. Some can’t afford the legal fight and end up settling for pennies on the dollar.
The act remains as powerful as it did for Hughes seven years ago. So much so that he said he would give up a kidney if any of the players ever needed one. “Hopefully, they all don’t ask for a kidney at the same time,” Hughes said, laughing. Said Kaman, joking: “I don’t need his old … kidney. I don’t think I want his kidney. Hopefully I never need a kidney. I just wouldn’t feel right doing that, ‘Thanks for your organ. It’s right in here.’ “
Kaman remains a behind-the-scenes benefactor and seemed almost taken aback by the kudos coming his way. “I don’t know the whole situation of what was going on,” Kaman said to The Times at practice. “It wasn’t covered all the way. We all felt like we need to chip in and take care of that for him. “I talked to Elton. I felt bad: ‘How much does he need?’ It’s a tough thing for anybody having to have that surgery. It’s very invasive, I remember he was out for so long he couldn’t lift anything and real sore for a long time. He went through a lot.”
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.’ “It just shows you what kind of person he is, to keep thanking me all the time for that. Like I said, it was just my time to serve another human being. “I think if anyone on my team is in that kind of situation, I would try to help him out if I could. That’s just the person I am. I was raised that way.”
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.”
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.”
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. But Hughes was told not to worry. His doctor assured him the cancer was slow growing and felt Hughes could wait several months before undergoing surgery. But Hughes had an issue with that. The Clippers were about to go to training camp and Hughes, a basketball junkie with a voracious work ethic, didn’t want to miss a day of work. “My doctor told me he would do the surgery in a couple of months and then I’d be off my feet for a couple of months,” said Hughes, who played at the University of Wisconsin. “He said, ‘You know this is major surgery.’ “
The Los Angeles Clippers have introduced Vinny Del Negro as their coach, two months after he was fired by the Chicago Bulls. He takes over a Clippers team that went 29-53 last season and missed the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years. Del Negro on Wednesday replaced Kim Hughes, who finished the season as interim coach after Mike Dunleavy stepped aside in February to focus on his GM duties before leaving for good in March.
Hughes could have said no and been paid off until June 30. But Hughes has been the ultimate team guy for the Clippers, and he took up the offer to help them prepare for last Thursday’s draft. Now, his contract is ready to expire and apparently Roeser is taking no chances. “Andy told me to come into work (Thursday) although he doesn’t know what is going to happen,” said Hughes, who said his contract would have expired June 30, 2011 if Dunleavy had remained with the team, but his ouster cut a year off it. “That’s fine. I don’t have anything else to do.”