2016 has been a terrible year when it comes to the passing of beloved figures, and tragedy has now struck the world of professional sports. Longtime NBA sportscaster Craig Sager passed away on December 15 after a battle with leukemia. He was 65 years old.
Craig Sager experienced heartbreaking ups and downs in his battle with leukemia. He was diagnosed in April 2014, which caused him to miss covering the NBA playoffs. He recovered for a time thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his son, and he was able to return to his work as a sportscaster by March 2015. Sadly, it was only a year later that he announced that his leukemia had returned, and he would not recover this time. He leaves behind a wife, five children, and a legacy as one of the most lovable and entertaining NBA sportscasters of all time.
He made an impression on audiences everywhere due to his habit of wearing outlandish suits for his NBA broadcasts, with outfits ranging from bright colors to outrageous plaids to dizzying stripes. Craig Sager got his fair share of teasing for his choices of attire from players and coaches on camera, but he never gave up on having fun with his clothes. He could liven up even dull games with his commentary, and he could always get good scoops on the court. According to The Huffington Post, he even made history in 1991 when he joined TNT‘s NBA broadcast team and became the first sideline reporter ever in the NBA.
Despite his many years as an NBA sportscaster, Craig Sager somehow never managed to cover a Finals game. With his health failing during the 2016 Finals, TNT actually loaned Sager to rival network ESPN to let him end his career as a sportscaster on the biggest stage in the NBA. It was a thrilling Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, and Craig Sager made it even more exciting and enjoyable. Take a look at his NBA Finals journey earlier this year:
The outpouring of love and gratitude for Craig Sager in his final game as a broadcaster was a fitting tribute to him for his many years of NBA coverage. His passing came only two days after he was officially inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Famous folks have taken to Twitter to express their condolences, ranging from Kobe Bryant to ESPN reporter Marc Stein to President Obama himself. He’ll be remembered fondly both for his contributions to professional basketball and for the personality that won him so much attention during his time in the public eye.
We here at CinemaBlend send our condolences and thoughts to Craig Sager’s family and friends in this trying time.