While we are all riding high on the exciting first-round playoff games witnessed in the league’s opening three days, we also learned that beloved NBA TNT Sideline Reporter Craig Sager is battling Leukemia. Dozens of those involved with the league have shown their support for Sager, but possibly no message has been as heartfelt as the one San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich delivered prior to the fourth quarter of his team’s Game 1 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks:
After hearing his long-time rival’s message, Sager – just being typical Sager – had an amazing response:
“Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, Oh, my God, that’s unbelievable, what an honor,” said Sager, whose exchanges with the curt Popovich have become a much-anticipated part of TNT’s NBA telecasts. “But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn’t be right. I want him to go Serbian [Popovich was born to a Serbian father] on me.”
This just shows the type of person Sager is. Even in such tragic times, he finds a way to incorporate humor into the situation and keep the mood light.
Shortly after Deitsch released the above column, Sager’s son – Craig Sager II (who interviewed Pop in the above video) posted an image of his father on Twitter, smiling and standing up.
Great to see my Dad standing up. These awesome neighbors have been with him all evening. pic.twitter.com/dzQ5ninB8E
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) April 22, 2014