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Today is a tragic day for the NBA and the sports television world in general. Beloved Turner Sports NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager died today at the age of 65 after a long, courageous fight with myeloid leukemia.
The veteran reporter first received the awful news that he had leukemia in 2014. Sager’s leukemia has gone in and out of remission ever since, re-emerging for good in March 2016. In an interview with HBO’s Real Sports from back in March, Sager said that the typical prognosis for someone with his type of leukemia is 3-6 months. Unfortunately the doctors weren’t terribly far off with that estimate.
“Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us. There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports,” Turner President David Levy said in a statement.
Prior to working for Turner Sports, Sager was actually a cable TV newser. He joined CNN in 1981 after handling the network’s first live remote report from the 1980 MLB playoffs. At CNN, Sager was co-anchor of the network’s CNN Sports Tonight program and was honored with a CableAce award in 1985. He also served as the anchor of College Football Scoreboard from 1982 to 1985.
In addition to his superb interview skills (he spent more than 20 years as a courtside reporter for Turner), Sager was well known for wearing colorful outfits on the sidelines, with players and coaches playfully teasing him over the years.
Here’s a look at some his most memorable moments as an NBA reporter:
Sager was inducted Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame just two days ago, and was honored at the 2016 ESPYS. He was introduced at the ESPYS by Vice President Joe Biden, a man all too familiar with cancer.
Here’s video of Sager’s legendary ESPYS speech:
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) December 15, 2016