ESPN anchor Stuart Scott dies at 49

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The sports media world suffered a loss on Sunday morning with the passing of beloved ESPN anchor Stuart Scott at age 49.

Scott was influential across the sports spectrum, but he made a major impact on ESPN’s NBA coverage over the years, including conducting one-on-one interviews with the likes of Michael Jordan and helping out with the network’s Finals coverage. His many catch-phrases, including “Boo-yah!” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow,” added a new dimension to SportsCenter broadcasts and inspired a generation of sportscasters. He became as iconic as many of the athletes he covered, and rightly so.

Scott’s powerfully moving ESPYs speech from 2014 touched on his fight with cancer and is worth watching in its entirety:

Scott had battled cancer since 2007, but he continued to work right up until his death. Here he is helping to present the Larry O’Brien trophy to the San Antonio Spurs after their 2014 Finals victory:

A tribute to Scott on ESPN.com features an anecdote from NBA Countdown host Sage Steele that sheds light on the kind of person Scott was off camera, beloved and appreciated by everyone who crossed his path:

“NBA Countdown” anchor Sage Steele remembers the day last year when her family moved from Connecticut to Arizona to be closer to her show in Los Angeles: “The moving trucks were at my house, and Stuart was there with his girlfriend Kristin to say goodbye to us, and my 10-year-old son Nicholas had to say goodbye to his best friend across the street, and he came back sobbing, sobbing, leaving his best friend in the world… Stuart said, ‘I got it.’ And he took Nicholas aside and just sat down with him and described his moving away as a kid, losing his best friend as a 10-year-old boy and how he handled it. He spent 20 minutes sitting there with Nicholas, helping him feel better.

“Stuart spent three hours at our house that day, in pain and hardly able to stand, but he did it. And he sat there for my kid.”

Watch ESPN’s video tribute to Scott, which ran this morning, here.