Craig Sager was beloved around the NBA. And still is. For his professionalism, for his sense of humor, for how well he took the ribbing about his suits, and for his spirit for life.
Sager passed away Thursday at the age of 65, having lost his battle with Leukemia. The tributes to him have been pouring in, both in traditional forms and on social media. What you see below is just a sampling.
“I — along with the entire NBA family — am deeply saddened by the passing of Craig Sager,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Craig was as vital to the NBA as the players and coaches. A true original and an essential voice on Turner Sports’ NBA coverage for 26 seasons, Craig chronicled some of the most memorable moments in league history and was a ubiquitous presence with his splashy suits and equally colorful personality. Craig earned widespread respect for his insightful reporting and inspired so many most recently with his courage. Our hearts go out to his wife, Stacy; his children, Kacy, Craig Jr., Krista, Riley and Ryan; and his friends and colleagues.”
The NBA players union released this statement: ““Craig Sager was a one-of-a-kind reporter who embodied the spirit of the game of basketball in a truly colorful fashion. Through his work, he was able to connect players, coaches and fans to the game we all love. The passion and fight he displayed during his battle with cancer is an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sager family at this extremely difficult time.”
“Craig was a great reporter, a wonderful person and an absolute joy to work with,” said Lakers’ owner Jeanie Buss in a statement. “He put up a valiant and courageous fight, but unfortunately, cancer won. He will be terribly missed.”
“I am saddened to hear of the death of Craig Sager,” Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird said. “He was as identifiable with the NBA as any player or coach. The league will not be the same without him. The Indiana Pacers express sincere condolences to his family.”
“I am truly saddened by the news of the passing of one of the NBA’s great personalities in Craig Sager,” Timberwolves coach and GM Tom Thibodeau said. “I always enjoyed our interactions together and, like many, looked forward to seeing what particular suit he had on that given night. I will remember Craig for his infectious smile, his will and determination and the upbeat spirit he lived his life with every single day We will forever be Sager Strong.”
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R. I. P. Craig Sager heaven just got brighter. Craig and I owned a business together, we worked together at TNT, and he covered my teams over the years. He was one of the most unselfish people I've ever met. I'm a lucky man that Craig touched my life. The NBA lost a giant!!!! I lost a dear friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Stacy and family. #SagerStrong #let's find a cure for cancer