The Clippers may well never stop being the Clippers until they’re rid of owner/Living Los Angeles Nightmare Donald Sterling. (Related: dude is racist as hell) But as long as there are goofy masochists who care about basketball — or reasonable humans who hate the Lakers because It’s The Right Thing To Do — there will be Clipper fans.

It’s hard to argue that said fans were well-served by this year’s typically underachieving Clips, but (and here’s where I drop the pretense) we were at least well-served by the fact that interim coach Kim Hughes (above), who took over from fraudulent ex-capo Mike Dunleavy around midseason, was perhaps the most hilariously straight-talking coach in NBA history. At TrueHoop, Kevin Arnovitz pays tribute to the admirably frank and frankly doomed Hughes:

How would Hughes fare as a head coach if given a legitimate opportunity to run a training camp and put his hand print on a team? It’s hard to say. But here’s one thing I can say with some degree of certainty:

I’d love to cover that team.

In the NBA, very little of substance is spoken on the record. Even when you’re fishing for nothing more than a little education about the game, answers are often doled out in neatly wrapped platitudes. That’s not the case with Hughes, whose flat midwestern accent conveyed things you rarely hear from NBA coaches — things like self-doubt, nuance and re-evaluation…

Prior to his first game, I asked Hughes if he’d spoken to Chris Kaman about how the new running attack might impact the center’s preference for a structured half-court game.

Hughes responded, “Let me preface this by saying that Chris is retarded, okay? He’s really not, but he is emotionally handicapped.”

As usual, thanks to Brendan Flynn for the link.