Craig Sager Rumors
MK: Have you had a moment when it was difficult for you to keep your calm on air? Rachel Nichols: I found out [veteran NBA sideline reporter] Craig Sager died less than two minutes before I had to go on the air. I want to say it was 90 seconds. I had been talking to Craig’s son so I knew how sick he was, but some things had happened that week that had led me to believe that we had a little more time. The night before he died, I was thinking about how I needed to write some thoughts down so that I would have something to say when it happened, but I also didn’t want to. I just really believed we had more time. To have ninety seconds to tell people and talk about it and be live on the air… Craig is somebody I looked up to tremendously for so long. He went to [my alma mater] Northwestern. He was the best at what he did. I worked with him at Turner for a while and got to know him very well. That was probably the hardest time I had on air.
The NBA made the first All-Star weekend since Craig Sager’s passing a memorable affair, expertly helmed as always by TNT’s Ernie Johnson. Sager, the longtime sideline reporter from Turner Sports who succumbed to cancer late in 2016, was the inspiration behind a slightly impromptu 3-point, half-court and eventual layup-shooting benefit at Saturday night’s All-Star festivities in New Orleans. A layup hit by Sager’s son Ryan marked a $500,000 donation made from the league and its sponsorship partners to the Sager Strong charity.