The year 2016 has claimed a lot of casualties, but in the NBA family, few hurt worse than when veteran sideline reporter Craig Sager passed away after a battle with leukemia. The outpouring of grief and support was truly something to behold. Sager was adored by players, colleagues, and fans around the world, but the bond he shared with the notoriously-acerbic (yet big-hearted) Gregg Popovich was one of our favorite things in all of sports.
Their Abbott and Costello routine was the highlight of any Spurs game televised on TNT, and Pop was visibly shaken when speaking to reporters in the immediate aftermath of his death. He made it a point to criss-cross the country to attend Sager’s funeral and still make it back in time for a game, and now he’s given a memento from that occasion to Sager’s son.
Sager was known for his bold, sartorial choices, and since his passing, the NBA world has commemorated that aspect of his personality with all sorts of loud, garish clothing items. In the midst of a sport that often takes itself so seriously in terms of competitive drive and the never-ending quest for greatness and immortality, Sager was a constant reminder that basketball is supposed to be fun.