Craig Sager Rumors
The folks of NBA on TNT looked especially jaunty for Wednesday’s Game 1 between the Hawks and the Cavaliers. Why? The crew was paying homage to beloved broadcaster Craig Sager, who has been battling leukemia. (However, the 63-year-old recently took a break from chemotherapy to attend the Rockets-Clippers Game 7.)
“It was quite a shock when the leukemia came back,” the elder Sager said. “They gave me a drug to try to put me back in remission, and it didn’t work, and they said in Atlanta they had gone to their best option and maybe I should try looking at different options. “Obviously, M.D. Anderson is the best, so I came here last week and met with (Dr. Naveen Pemmaraju) and his staff, and they seemed to indicate they are very optimistic and have a clinical trial that will suit me.”
As Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager continues to fight the good fight against leukemia, the chance to watch some playoff basketball in person Tuesday night was the best medicine Houston could offer. Sager, 63, who was diagnosed in April 2014 with acute myeloid leukemia, will begin a new round of chemotherapy Wednesday morning at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Doctors gave him the option of attending Tuesday night’s Clippers-Rockets game at Toyota Center, and he said his response was, “Hell yes, I’m going.” “My doctor told me don’t fall, don’t get hurt, stay away from people who are sick, and we’ll see you tomorrow,” he said.
Craig Sager, the Turner Sports NBA sideline reporter known for his colorful outfits, is battling a recurrence of leukemia, his son confirmed. Sager missed the NBA playoffs last year while undergoing treatment for the disease and had returned to the sideline earlier this month. Craig Sager Jr. announced the news Sunday night on Twitter, saying that there was some comfort this time in knowing “the blueprint” for the new round of treatment and that, immediately, his father is fighting a flu bug.
Craig Sager II: We wanted to ensure he was taken care of & that we knew what the next steps were before we shared this #SagerStrong: “Sr. is battling his newest set of obstacles, but unlike the first time when everything was new, there is a blueprint in place and all focus is on one checkpoint at a time. Sr’s leukemia returned last week and he is undergoing a treatment that will be much like this time last year when he got rounds of chemo and prepared his body for a bone marrow transplant. The flu was going around and he caught it, but he was able to get his fever down and got to go home for the day before he returns to outpatient treatment in the morning. Beating the flu is a main priority right now. There are constant changes as we learned from the last 11 1/2 months but we will try to keep you as uo to date as we can.” pic.twitter.com/IhUM2nK8yl
It might as well have been one of the veteran sideline reporter’s trademark outlandish suits to Gregg Popovich, who was thrilled to greet his long-time friend during the Spurs’ weekend trip to Atlanta, less than a month after Sager returned to duty following his lengthy battle with cancer. “It was good to see him,” Popovich said at Tuesday’s shootaround. “I hadn’t seen him in a while. He’s been doing all his medical work. So to see him dressed up and colorful and out (in public) was a lot of fun. He looked good. He’s a friend, a heck of a big part of the NBA for a very long time.”
Turner Sports announced the sideline reporter Craig Sager, who has been recovering from leukemia diagnosed 11 months ago, will not work NCAA Basketball Tournament games as schedule. In a statement, Sager said, “I’ve been waiting a long time to return in a full-time basis, but my doctors suggested additional testing and I will not be able to travel to Omaha this week. Physically, I feel great. I’d like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support throughout this journey and look forward to being back very soon.”
Popovich was one of several NBA personages who taped welcome-back messages for TNT broadcaster Craig Sager, who returned Thursday night to his role as a sideline reporter after battling leukemia. “Good to have you here,” Popovich said in his videotaped message. “Congratulations on meeting and winning against a hell of a challenge. Our challenge is pale by comparison to what you just did. We’re all happy for you. “Now the probing, incisive questions will begin to roll. We’re all looking forward to it, as well as the fashion statement each week.”
My, how his youngest kids ached for their dad when he was gone. For six weeks after Sager received a bone marrow transplant last July 3, Ryan and Riley weren’t allowed to see their father while he was in the fourth-floor isolation unit at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. He returned to their house on Aug. 15, surprising his children. “Daddy’s home!” Ryan yelled when he spotted his dad at the doorway. “Now I don’t have to see you in my dreams anymore!” And just then, hugging his two youngest there in the entryway, Sager melted into a puddle of tears. He was home—but his ordeal was far from over.
The 63-year-old cancer survivor slid into his Corvette, flipped the ignition and rumbled through the sleepy streets of Canton, a town of 24,000 located on the northern outskirts of Atlanta. Sager hadn’t been among strangers since that harrowing hour last spring when he was issued what could have been his death sentence: a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. But now, in four days, he was slated to return to the NBA sideline—on March 5, in Chicago, for the Bulls-Thunder game—and return to his life that was ripped away from him last April. “I probably should have been dead,” said Sager, a gleam of wonder in his brown eyes, as he waited at a stoplight behind the wheel. “But this is the truth: I never had a bad day. Never. Never said, ‘Why me?’ “I’ve had a charmed life. I won the lottery in marrying my wife, Stacy. My kids are a joy. I figured it was just my turn for some bad luck. I didn’t volunteer for it, but I accepted it.”
Stacy drove her husband home. He was desperate to see his two youngest children. (Sager has three older children, including Craig Jr., from a previous marriage.) After embracing them, he couldn’t climb the stairs to reach his bedroom, so he lay down in the living room. “I wasn’t really sleeping and I wasn’t really awake,” Sager said. “I was in pain, and it was like I saw my spirit or soul or something just floating a few feet from me. I reached for it, but I couldn’t get it. That’s when I told Stacy it was time to go back to the hospital.”
The next afternoon, Stacy flew to Dallas. The doctors, still unsure of what was wrong with their patient, didn’t want to release Sager, but he was adamant. Stacy drove him to the airport, put her husband in a wheelchair and pushed him toward their gate. “I was scared he wasn’t going to make it out of that airport,” Stacy said. “Then when we got on the plane, I asked the flight attendants if there was a defibrillator on board. I was worried that he was going to have a heart attack. He was so weak, so pale. He just had no color to him at all.”
Harrison Barnes: #TBT When Craig Sager interviewed me on draft day. NBA hasn’t been the same without you!! #WelcomeBackSager youtu.be/vDydIqGDfMM
Chris Paul: Welcome back my man Craig Sager to the sidelines and support LLS by going to @Chideo #SageLife @NBAonTNT http://t.co/8SOpe3dn5R
Reggie Miller: Return of the Jedi, Craig Sager is back people!! Thurs March 5th, 8pm ET on TNT, OKC vs Chi..… instagram.com/p/zz7QELTBOo/
Sager, who was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2014, was not at Madison Square Garden, but he was able to make an appearance on the pregame show from Orlando, Florida. During his appearance, Sager interviewed New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Like the rest of us, Anthony was thrilled to see the sideline reporter back in action.
Craig Sager — and his suits — are coming back to the NBA. The longtime sideline reporter on TNT made a cameo appearance during Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game, appearing live on the broadcast from Orlando, where he’s continuing to get well following a leukemia diagnosis that took him out of the game almost a year ago. “(I”m feeling) great E.J.,” he told Ernie Johnson, the TNT host. “I went from receiving my last rites in the hospital to soaking up the fountain of youth here in Florida, so life is great.”