Legendary sideline TV reporter Craig Sager is winning his battle with Leukemia, and says he’s eyeing a return to the gig in February.
Doctors are expected to give him clearance to start flying in January, and Sager will get back to interviewing Gregg Popovich and the like for TNT, while rocking his trademark ultra-colorful suits.
Sager’s wife Stacy held the family together during this very difficult ordeal.
Sager has interviewed thousands of people in dozens of different sports and asked maybe a million questions. Virtually all of his questions are on point. He’s never flustered on-air. He is tireless, polished, always showing up on time and prepared in whatever stadium or arena (he lost track of how many) serves as his office for that day. With the exception of Marv Albert, no other TV person is more attached to the NBA than Sager, who joined Turner in March of 1981 (employee No. 343), a run of 33 years and counting, the last two decades as Turner’s top sideline snoop.
This is where Stacy comes in. She is blond and beautiful and a former member of the Bulls dance team, and beneath the glossy exterior is a fierce and protective wife and mother of two. And an investigative reporter, because she took the mic from her husband and was relentless. […] “I asked enough questions to the point where I probably drove the physicians crazy,” she said. “I had to do everything I could. I wanted to know why things were done: Why do you have him on this antibiotic? Just little things like that. I had to, because he is my life.”
He required a bone marrow transplant. Those can be tricky. Most are conducted with a worldwide donor search for a match. Sager found his medical soul mate a lot quicker and closer than he expected: His oldest son, Craig Jr. Father and son went through the procedure together. Bone marrow (1.5 liters worth) and stem cells were harvested from the hip of Junior and pumped into Sager. […] “He was happy and excited,” said the father. “Usually you end up wanting to be like your dad, and strange thing is, I ended up being like him after the transplant. We have the exact same DNA now.”