Before his two year battle with acute myeloid leukemia and undergoing three separate bone marrow transplants, basketball fans the world over will never forget Craig Sager when he would wear those really splashy suits and displaying that colorful personality getting inside the heads of many NBA coaches and players. And yes, for a short time from 2011 to covering the Sweet 16 round in 2015, Sager also brought his insights to the greatest tournament in the world each March. The ultimate topper was being in Cleveland this past June when he got the chance to cover Game 6 of the NBA Finals for ESPN/ABC.
Craig Sager lost his two year battle with cancer on Thursday. The 2016 Jimmy V Perseverance Award Winner for Courage at the annual ESPY Awards was something to behold. And this tragic news comes two days after Sager was announced that he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Just you wait until you see the many scores of broadcasters and players that paid tribute to him two days before his passing:
At the very least, he managed to celebrate one final wedding anniversary on Wednesday, December 14 alongside his wife, Stacy.
His words from the 2016 ESPY Awards (even while wearing a flowery sportcoat on stage) will carry a lasting impact for decades to come:
“Whatever I might’ve imagined a terminal diagnosis would do to my spirit. It’s summoned quite the opposite — the greatest appreciation for life itself.
So I will never give up. 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.”
Craig Sager accepting Jimmy V Award for Courage at 2016 ESPY Awards, Los Angeles
So long, Craig. I guess that both Stuart Scott and John Saunders have some company in the wardrobe department. All kidding aside, adding a little extra color in heaven is not really a bad thing to ponder.