Beloved NBA Reporter, 'True Original' Craig Sager Dies

'The league will not be the same without him'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 16, 2016 12:30 AM CST
Beloved NBA Reporter Craig Sager Dies
In this Aug. 31, 2016 photo, longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager smiles during an interview at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.   (David J. Phillip)

Craig Sager, the beloved broadcaster known as much for his outrageous wardrobe as his relationships with the NBA's elite, has died after battling an aggressive form of leukemia for more than two years, the AP reports. Turner Sports announced his death without disclosing details. He was 65 and had worked basketball games for TNT for nearly a quarter-century. "There will never be another Craig Sager," Turner President David Levy said. "His incredible talent, tireless work ethic, and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports." His son, Craig Jr., posted a loving video tribute to his father, tweeting: "We packed a lifetime and then some into these 28 years together."

Sager's passing brought out condolences from every corner of the NBA, and Hall of Famer Larry Bird expressed what many were feeling. "He was as identifiable with the NBA as any player or coach," Bird said. "The league will not be the same without him." It wasn't just the NBA community that mourned his passing , with Vice President Joe Biden and Drake expressing sadness at the loss. Sager, an Illinois native who attended Northwestern and served as the school's "Willie the Wildcat" mascot for years, worked as a reporter for the Olympics, Major League Baseball playoffs, the NFL, and the NCAA Tournament, among other sports. But he was indelibly connected to the NBA, and Commissioner Adam Silver said the "true original" was respected for his reporting—and for his inspiring fight against cancer. (More sportscaster stories.)

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