Just before the start of the 2014 NBA playoffs, beloved TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager was diagnosed with leukemia. After 11 months of treatment, he returned to work in March, before the cancer returned and he was forced to step away again. Turner has officially unveiled their plans for October 27’s opening-night telecast, and it features a welcome piece of news: Sager has been officially cleared to work again and will be on sideline duty for the Warriors-Pelicans game in Oakland.
From the press release:
The Opening Night doubleheader will feature the NBA Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James visiting the Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the Warriors and Kia NBA MVP Stephen Curry hosting the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis at 10:30 p.m. TNT’s live game coverage will include the Ring Ceremony for the Warriors prior to their showdown with the Pelicans. Kevin Harlan will call the Cavs/Bulls telecast with analyst Reggie Miller and reporter David Aldridge, with Marv Albert providing play-by-play for Pelicans/Warriors with analyst Chris Webber and reporter Craig Sager.
Everybody in the basketball world has been rooting for Sager to pull through, and TNT’s NBA broadcasts haven’t been the same without his colorful suits and equally colorful personality. He’s a pretty hard guy not to like if you meet him, and it’s terrific news for everybody that he’ll be back this year. But most importantly, he’s beaten leukemia twice, which is a tremendous accomplishment. With any luck, this time the treatment will stick.