(Photo Credit: Kevin Winter / @gettyentertainment)
Craig Sager, everyone’s favorite NBA sideline reporter, will not be making it to this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to broadcast the basketball tournament. Instead, he will be getting chemotherapy to prepare for his third bone marrow transplant in two years.
Sager is undoubtedly disappointed that he’ll be missing the 2016 Olympics, as he has covered basketball at the Olympics since 2000. He was set to join the NBC broadcast team with sportscaster Marv Albert and NBA analyst Doug Collins in what would have been his fifth straight trip to the games. Sager was aware early on in the year that he would need another bone marrow transplant but he was hoping that it could wait until after the Olympics. Right now, given the situation he’s in, he just hopes that he can be back in time for the first night of the 2016-17 NBA season.
Sager has been battling leukemia since 2014, an ordeal that he has been very open about. He was able to beat it a first time in 2015 after receiving a bone marrow transplant from his son, but the cancer returned in March of this year. Nevertheless, Sager was determined to keep doing his job and he even got the chance to cover his first ever NBA Finals this year. A month later, Sager received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPYs, an acknowledgement of the inspiration and strength he has displayed during his fight with cancer.
His presence, as well as his one-of-a-kind outfits, will definitely be missed in Rio but his health comes first. And if anyone can beat this ugly disease, he certainly can.