Craig Sager Once Foiled Dennis Rodman’s Plan To Commit Suicide At A Detroit Strip Club
Craig Sager aka “America’s Sideline Reporter” aka “Mr. Fancy Suit” has become a invaluable staple of NBA broadcasts over his near 20 year career covering pro hoops with TNT. Phil Jackson once likened him to the Good Humor Man, Kevin Garnett compared him to a Christmas ornament, and Sir Charles Barkley called him “a pimp.” Needless to say, Sager not only cultivated unparalleled in-game storylines but did it with a flare that ballooned into an NBA folklore.
But Sager is likely nearing the end of his battle with acute myeloid leukemia, a grim diagnosis he was delivered after feeling exhausted during a game in Dallas in 2014. Sager has undergone two bone marrow transplants, 21 marrow biopsies and more than 20 chemo cycles–including one that spanned two weeks for 24 hours a day.
In an excellent cover story on Sager by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, we are given an in-depth look at the incredible life Sager led and his exclusive access to the game’s biggest stars, due to the league-wide respect he was granted.
Sager is not the guy who provides dissertations on pick-and-roll defense. He is the guy who once slept next to the stall of Seattle Slew the night before the horse won the Triple Crown, who bailed Morganna the Kissing Bandit out of jail, who surprised Shaquille O’Neal by boat at his Isleworth home. An interview with Sager should really be conducted at the dog track, where he used to own greyhounds, or a Hooters, where servers clad in Sager Orange bring him Bud Light and buffalo shrimp. He should be perched on a barstool next to his wife, Stacy—a former Bulls dancer 21 years his junior—regaling strangers with a story about Dennis Rodman, who went AWOL from the Pistons in 1993 and planned to commit suicide, until Sager tracked down the Worm on the second floor of a Detroit strip club. “The Landing Strip,” Sager recalls. “He had the gun. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be.”
Who knows whether or not Rodman would have gone through with his plan if Sager hadn’t been there to instill some logic in him that night, but with the countless stories that have been circulating about Sager’s character and influence, it’s safe to say that he played a role in Rodman’s reconsideration.
Check out the whole story over at Sports Illustrated.