The late, great Craig Sager was one of the few reporters who had a friendship with the tight-lipped and short-tempered Gregg Popovich. The legendary broadcaster passed away on Thursday after a long battle with a rare form of leukemia. The San Antonio Spurs head coach knew it was not a day to talk about basketball, so before the Spurs game against the Phoenix Sun he reflected on what a special person Sager was.
“I guess on a day like this, basketball has to take a back seat as we all think about somebody who was very unique, very special,” Popovich said. “Whether you really knew Craig or not, you got the feeling that he was a special person in a lot of different ways. And right now I just feel for his family.
To talk about him being a professional or good at what he did is a tremendous understatement. All of us who knew him understood that fact, what he was all about as far as work was concerned, but he was a way better person than he was a worker, even though he was amazing in that regard. He loved people, he enjoyed pregame, during games, postgame — he loved all the people around it, and everybody felt that.
The most amazing part of him is his courage. What he’s endured, and the fight that he’s put up, the courage that he’s displayed during this situation is beyond my comprehension. And if any of us can display half the courage he has to stay on this planet, to live every (day) as if it’s his last, we’d be well off. We all miss him very much.”
The always snazzily-dressed Sager will certainly be missed by NBA players, coaches, and fans alike.
We should celebrate the brilliant broadcaster’s life, so let’s remember some of Craig Sager’s greatest moments including many of his engaging interviews with the usually short-spoken Popovich.