(WTNH)–Beloved basketball announcer Craig Sager has passed away after a long battle with leukemia, according to Turner Sports. He was 65 years old.
Sager, who was known for his colorful jackets and sometimes even more colorful interviews with coaches and players on the sidelines, was diagnosed with acute mueloid leukemia in 2014.
He had been a fan favorite for years.
Sager began working with Turner Sports in the early ’90s, though he first appeared on CNN’s coverage of the 1980 baseball playoffs. He also covered college football, college basketball, and the Olympics for TNT.
Maybe his most memorable television moments were his sideline interactions with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who notoriously hated being bothered during the game and often spent entire interviews teasing Sager.
As a fan, it was often the most entertaining part of the game to watch.
After his diagnosis in 2014, Sager missed the entire NBA playoffs. He returned to the sidelines the next season, but in March 2016, Sager announced that his cancer had returned.
He battled through chemotherapy treatments and kept working anyway, covering the 2016 Western Conference Finals for TNT and then being brought on by ESPN to cover Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
He received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPY’s, just weeks before undergoing bone marrow surgery.
The passion, dillegence and selflessness he brought to his job were obvious even if you only saw him through the TV screen.
Craig Sager was one of a kind, and he will be missed.