Craig Sager Rumors
Wade — who began partnering with The Tie Bar in 2014 and helps design a few collections each year — has built a strong bond with Sager during his 13 years in the league. When he saw the opportunity to combine his partnership and his relationship with Sager in the hopes of forming something special, he took it. “Wade came to us a while back and told us Craig Sager’s story,” Allyson Lewis, vice president of merchandising and design for The Tie Bar told USA TODAY Sports. “He really wanted to do something for (Sager) because he cares about him a lot as a person and was very touched by his story. Also given the fact that (Sager) is sort of known for his outlandish, really fun personal style, Dwyane said ‘I think this can make total sense to kind of bring together what I’m doing with The Tie Bar and also support Craig.” Just like that, “The Sager” was formed.
When you first started interviewing Gregg Popovich during games, it seemed awkward from a viewer’s perspective. Over time, do you think you and Popovich have developed a better relationship? Craig Sager: “People always come up to me and say ‘God, that Popovich is a jerk.’ And I say ‘no he’s not.’ If I was him I wouldn’t want me coming into the middle of a huddle in a playoff game in the middle of the third and fourth quarter. You’re trying to make adjustments, you’re trying to win games, you’re trying to tell your assistant coaches what rotations to have and who’s gonna come in and do what. You’ve gotta stop and talk some reporter on the sideline? So I understand, but those are the (NBA) rules. As long as those are the rules, I’m going to keep approaching him at the end of the third quarter at home.”
You’re required to talk to the coach at times during the game, but is there a time that’s off limits? Craig Sager: “Last night (Game 1) … we have a 20-point rule. If a team is up or down by 20 points, you don’t interview the coach because it’s like the coach ahead is gloating and the coach behind is rubbing it in. But last night it was close to 40 and they (Turner Sports) said ‘you can do the interview with Pop.’ I go ‘What?’ They said ‘yeah the NBA approved it because you guys get along so good. Just don’t ask him specifics about the game.’ I go ‘what do you mean don’t ask him about the game?’ They told me (the NBA) doesn’t want that. I say ‘if I make it light-hearted he’s gonna be p***** as hell at me, because I don’t joke with him. I let him do what he wants. I don’t fire back.
In between signing autographs and posing for pictures, he listened to many of them tell him about their cancer-stricken loved ones. “So many people have been touched, hurt and affected by cancer, and I represent people fighting that evil disease,” he said Sunday, his voice cracking with emotion. “People want to see me out. They want to see me not give up and see me fight and not complain. I realize I have a responsibility now to keep fighting for all those people. I take that responsibility with 100 percent of my efforts and heart, and I’m going to fight for them all.”