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Ex-Laker Michael Cooper Has Tongue Cancer

imgres-1Former Los Angeles Laker and current Atlanta Dream head coach of the WNBA Michael Cooper has tongue cancer and will be sidelined at least two weeks after treatment.

“The doctors and staff at Emory have been tremendous, and I know I’m in good hands,” Cooper said in a release. “I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection.

“I know the team will be in good hands with coach [Karleen] Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon.”

Cooper will undergo a surgical procedure later this week in Atlanta. Recovery is anticipated to take two weeks.

Cooper has led the Dream to a 15-6 record thus far in his first season with the franchise. He also played an important part in leading the East to a win in the All-Star Game on Saturday.

The former Los Angeles Lakers guard won five NBA championships and was a five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team player. He also won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2000 with the Los Angeles Sparks at the beginning of his tenure.

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