ATLANTA (WJHG/WECP)-- Craig Sager, longtime NBA sideline reporter for TNT has lost his battle with leukemia. Turner President David Levy announced Sager's death Thursday afternoon.
"“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. 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. 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.”
Sager, who got his start in TV at a station in Sarasota in 1972, was best known for his NBA coverage. But he also did golf, baseball, horse racing, the NFL and the Olympics.
When Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, it was Sager who interviewed Aaron as Aaron rounded 3rd base on his way to home plate.
Sager was a fixture around Atlanta, first starting with the Hawks broadcasts on Superstation TBS. He would later become a featured sideline reporter on the NBA on TNT.
Sager's colorful outfits were also the subject of both admiration and ridicule. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern once said, ""I put in a dress code for the players, but I should have put one in for the broadcasters, too."
Sager's very public battle with Leukemia brought him many admirers in the last four years. The hashtag #SagerStrong was created to commemorate Sager's desire to keep working, even through all of his Leukemia treatments.
Sager is survived by his wife Stacy and five children, Riley, Ryan, Kacy, Craig Jr. and Krista.
NBA, sports and media stars have weighed-in on Sager's death via Twitter.