Craig Sager Dead: NBA Reporter Dies at 65 After Cancer Battle

Reporter, Craig Sager looks on before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.
Reporter, Craig Sager looks on before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Craig Sager, longtime Turner Sports NBA courtside reporter and announcer, has died at age 65 after a battle with leukemia.

Turner president David Levy announced the sad news in a statement Thursday, December 15. “Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us. There will never be another Craig Sager,” the statement read. “His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.”

“While he will be remembered fondly for his colorful attire and the TNT sideline interviews he conducted with NBA coaches and players, it’s the determination, grace and will to live he displayed during his battle with cancer that will be his lasting impact,” the statement continued. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig’s wife, Stacy, and the entire Sager family during this difficult time. We will forever be Sager Strong.” 

The TNT reporter, who was known for his bold style, was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April 2014. According to Sports Illustrated, he received multiple bone marrow transplants and several rounds of chemotherapy, which allowed him to return to his job in March 2015. He worked on and off, juggling treatments and his broadcasting responsibilities, until the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sager has been hospitalized since late November, ESPN reports.

Sager told Sports Illustrated in April of this year that he’s received support from dozens of athletes such as Karl Malone, Phil Mickelson, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Dennis Rodman. Many players paid tribute to him on Twitter after news of his death broke.

The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer is survived by his wife, Stacy, and his children, Riley, Ryan, Craig Jr., Krista and Kacy. Craig Jr. took to Twitter to pay tribute to his late father Thursday. “‘Time is simply how you live your life’ We packed a lifetime and then some into these 28 years together. Pay it forward time! #SagerStrong,” he wrote. 

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