For the first time in a sideline career that’s extended well over three decades, Craig Sager is heading to the NBA Finals.
Sager, who has worked as a sideline reporter with Turner Broadcasting long enough to have literally stood beside Hank Aaron as he trotted down the third base line following his 715th home run, will be the beneficiary of a special agreement that will allow him to hop over from TNT to ESPN so he can cover Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Typically, TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs stops at the conclusion of the conference finals. The unique partnership between Turner and ESPN will allow Sager, who continues to battle recurring leukemia, to work the sidelines of a finals game for the first time in his career.
“I’d like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity to be part of The Finals broadcast team,” Sager said in a statement. “I’ve been watching the series very closely and, while I do not want to distract in any way from the event itself, I look forward to being in the building for what will be an incredibly exciting Game 6. The NBA community is a very special one and this is a great honor.”
After missing close to a year of work while undergoing treatment for leukemia, Sager returned to action in March 2015. However, in April he revealed his cancer was no longer in remission.
A favorite among fans and players, Sager has received an outpouring of support from the basketball world since his initial diagnosis in 2014.