Legendary NBA broadcaster Craig Sager died at the age of 65 on Thursday after a lengthy and valiant battle with leukemia. David Levy, the president of Turner Sports, released a statement to announce Sager’s death.
Sager started his sports broadcasting career back in the 1970s during stints at small radio and TV stations in Florida and Missouri, but he caught his big break in the 1980s when he joined CNN and was eventually shifted over to TBS and TNT. He spent more than 30 years covering baseball, football, soccer, golf, and, most notably, basketball for the networks and was known for wearing colorful suits and conducting equally colorful interviews with NBA players on the sidelines.
In 2014, Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and over the course of the next three years, he underwent three bone marrow transplants while courageously fighting the disease. It forced him to miss extended periods of time, but Sager battled through it and continued to work the sidelines at NBA games when his health allowed. Back in June, he worked his very first NBA Finals game and shared a memorable moment with LeBron James after it was over. A short time later, Sager was honored at the 2016 ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and delivered an inspiring speech.
"I will never give up," he said. "And I will never give in. I will continue to keep fighting, sucking the marrow out of life, as life sucks the marrow out of me. I will live my life full of love and full of fun. It’s the only way I know how."
Sager is survived by his wife Stacy and his five children.