Craig Sager’s battle with cancer is well documented. Despite being medically cleared to be his usual, delightful self on the sidelines of NBA games back in late 2015, Sager announced that the disease returned in March of his year. The outlook from his doctors wasn’t good, and he was given three to six months to live.
Four months later, and Sager is still fighting like hell. No matter how grim his future looks, Sager is battling the disease as hard as he can. He’s also used his story as a way to inspire others, which was on display when he FaceTimed Pitt running back James Conner, who views Sager as an inspiration. After his own war with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Connor announced he was cancer-free earlier this year.
While he works for Turner, ESPN decided to honor Sager in a few ways this year. Not only did he get to work his first-ever Finals game, but he’s also the recipient of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, which he received on Wednesday night’s telecast of the 2016 ESPYs.
Prior to Sager getting the award, which in the past has gone to people like George Karl and the late, great Stuart Scott, he was honored by vice president Joe Biden.
In a moving speech, Biden mentioned his son, Beau, who passed away last year due to brain cancer. Once he started talking about Sager, Biden praised the beloved sideline reporter for his passion and fearlessness in the face of such a terrifying disease.
While Biden’s speech was as passionate as anything that we’ve heard out of the Vice President over the last eight years, all anyone wanted was to hear Sager. We got that after a moving video package which showed, among other things, how Sager wanted to work even though he was going through treatment.