NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager has died at the age of 65, the Turner Sports network announced.

Sager had been battling a rare form of cancer for the past two years.  He received multiple rounds of chemotherapy, as well as other treatments.

For 26 seasons, Sager worked as a sideline reporter for Turner Sports’ NBA broadcasts on TNT, where he became famous for his colorful suits and strange interviews with former San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Popovich talked to HBO’s Real Sports about his late friend.  “Even though he does what he does design- and fashion-wise, it’s part of the shtick,” he said.  “But his questions are always sensible. They’re answerable and he does it with fun. He does it with humor. I react to that very positively, so we have a good time together.”

Sager was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014.  He received chemotherapy and a bone transplant, and when into remission.  He returned to TNT in March 2015, but the cancer returned just weeks later.  After more chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant, Sager was in remission for a second time.

Sager announced a recurrence of his cancer yet again in March of 2016, but this time he continued working while undergoing a clinical trial.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Sager’s Death:

“I — along with the entire NBA family — am deeply saddened by the passing of Craig Sager.  Craig was as vital to the NBA as the players and coaches. A true original and an essential voice on Turner Sports’ NBA coverage for 26 seasons, Craig chronicled some of the most memorable moments in league history and was a ubiquitous presence with his splashy suits and equally colorful personality. Craig earned widespread respect for his insightful reporting and inspired so many most recently with his courage. Our hearts go out to his wife, Stacy; his children, Kacy, Craig Jr., Krista, Riley and Ryan; and his friends and colleagues.”

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