Cancer-Stricken Sportscaster to Work First NBA Finals

Craig Sager calls it a 'great honor'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2016 8:56 AM CDT
Cancer-Stricken Sportscaster to Work First NBA Finals
Craig Sager appears at an NBA game in 2015.   (AP Photo/David Banks, File)

A beloved NBA sideline reporter will finally get to cover the NBA finals some 34 years into his career and two years into his battle with leukemia. Craig Sager, 64, of TNT—known for donning "the brightest, most colorful suits," per the New York Post—has never reported on a Finals game, as TNT's broadcasting rights end with conference finals. However, he'll join ESPN's Doris Burke to report on Game 6 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC Thursday for a "unique, one-time opportunity," report ESPN and the Washington Post. An ESPN rep tells the New York Times that the network began talking about inviting Sager to a broadcast six weeks ago. "Everybody said, 'We've got to do that.'"

Diagnosed with leukemia in April 2014, Sager recently revealed his cancer is no longer in remission. Initial predictions were that he had three to six months to live, though Sager says that applies to those not receiving treatment; he's in a clinical trial for chemotherapy. "I'm fighting this thing to the end. I have too much to do," he says. Next month, for example, he'll accept the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs before he's scheduled to report on US men's basketball games at the Rio Olympics. "I'd like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity," Sager says of the "great honor." As for what he'll be wearing, "I can't bring out something I've already worn," he says. "So I went shopping yesterday and was quite pleased with what I found." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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