After twice missing time to battle leukemia, and twice getting stem cells from his son Craig Jr., Craig Sager and his unmistakeable bright suits have been back on the sidelines of NBA games this season working for TNT. Even Gregg Popovich was happy to do sideline interviews with Sager after what the respected reporter went through.
Tuesday night on HBO’s Real Sports, Sager announces that his cancer is out of remission and back for a third time.
What is next? This is from the trailer released for the show (which can be seen above).
“Uncharted waters. I’ve already had two stem cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third. So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this….
“Still kicking, still fighting. I haven’t won the battle. It’s not over yet, but I haven’t lost it either. There have been some victories and some setbacks. I still have to fight it and I still have a lot of work to do.”
Sager is scheduled to continue working with TNT through the end of the month, although it’s unclear if that will change.
The man is a fighter and I look forward to many future rounds between him and Popovich.
Sunday is National Pride Day, the culmination of a month of LGBT History Month festivities every June. There are pride parades all over the country, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum put in an appearance at the parade in New York.
The NBA has been progressive on issues of LGBT equality during the past few years. Jason Collins became the first openly gay active player in any of the four major sports when he signed with the Nets in 2014. Silver came down hard on Kings point guard Rajon Rondo this season, suspending him for one game when he yelled a homophobic slur at referee Bill Kennedy, who later came out as gay. And Silver has still left open the possibility of moving the 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte in light of North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom law.”
At Sunday’s parade, both Silver and Tatum wore “Orlando United” shirts in honor of the victims of this month’s Pulse nightclub shooting.
When the Suns fired Jeff Hornacek mid-season, they replaced him with Earl Watson, who was just a year removed from his last season as a player. It was an obvious interim case for a struggling team, until exit interviews, when nearly every player told management they wanted Watson to be the permanent head coach. So he is. And so far, he’s assembled a veteran staff to help him as a relatively inexperienced coach. He already poached Jay Triano from Portland’s bench as associate head coach, and now Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that he’s hired Tyrone Corbin for his staff.
Corbin spent four seasons as head coach of the Jazz as well as part of the 2014-15 season as interim coach in Sacramento, between the Kings’ firing of Michael Malone and hiring of George Karl. As the Suns rebuild with a young coach, they’re doing well to surround Watson with experienced assistants. Corbin is well respected around the league and got a raw deal with his treatment in Sacramento, so it’s nice to see him end up on his feet somewhere else.
Since they included Robin Lopez in the Derrick Rose trade, the Knicks need a new starting center. Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah have been linked to them in free agency via various rumors, and the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports that Noah is their top target.
The Knicks are desperate for a starting center — their top target is Joakim Noah — and a starting shooting guard after the Derrick Rose blockbuster. They are also desperate to fill out a 15-man roster within the confines of the salary cap. They have just five players under contract.
At his introductory press conference on Friday, Rose made it clear that he wants to play with Noah again. “I want him,” he said. “He knows that. His family knows that.” Rose and Noah are still close from their days in Chicago, which could play a part in the Knicks’ chances at landing him.
Whether Noah makes sense depends on the price. Despite his decline in production over the last two seasons, he’s still expected to land significant offers with the salary cap going up. The Knicks might have to pay as much as $20 million annually to get him, which would be a risk given his age and injury history.
The final USA Basketball roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is set to be unveiled Monday, and from the looks of it, the only holdovers from the 2014 London gold-medal team will be Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Another London team member, Kevin Love, turned down a spot, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Love was a big part of the last Olympic team, and his combination of passing and outside shooting as a big man fit well with the international game. But he has a history of back, knee and shoulder problems and already has a gold medal, so his decision to sit out Rio doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
As of now, based on various reports and official confirmations, the USA roster for Rio will include Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Durant, Anthony, Paul George, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan. The official announcement is expected Monday.