One of the best NBA reporters of our lifetimes, Craig Sager, passed away last year after a long battle with cancer.
But Sager was much more than a reporter. He was a friend to so many, from coaches to players to broadcasters to even the fans. Sager was known to the casual fan for his outlandish suits, but I had no idea until he was diagnosed with cancer just how many close friends he’d developed off the court among the basketball community.
The NBA has spent the past year honoring Sager, both before and after his death. This season alone, players and coaches have honored Sager in multiple ways, from wearing a SagerStrong T-Shirt during warmups and events, to moments of silence, to impassioned statements in interviews.
Good on you, NBA. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love this league I cover.
I cannot think of another pro sports organization that would go so far out of their way to honor a single person without making a dime off the effort. Can’t you imagine the NFL honoring someone, but making it a spectacle around which they’d sell merchandise and advertising time and whatnot?
Last night, during the annual All-Star weekend, the NBA got the players and crowd involved in a touching tribute to Sager and ultimately donated $500,000 to the SagerStrong Foundation for cancer research.
Don’t just watch this video. Listen to it. And try not to choke up.
Please also watch this touching tribute to Craig Sager. You just don’t know how many lives a person touches until there’s the threat of losing them.
Once again, please turn your sound up for this.
The man is a legend.
I never had a chance to meet Craig Sager and that is all my loss. I believe Sager visited Talking Stick Resort Arena (or whatever it was called at the time) at least once when I covered a game, but so much is happening on game nights there’s not much time (nor is it that professional) to go fan-mode and glad-hand a legend like Sager. Now I wholeheartedly regret it.