As Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors take center stage on opening night of the 2016-17 season, the NBA is ensuring beloved sideline reporter Craig Sager remains in the spotlight.
The 65-year-old Sager, who recently underwent a third bone marrow transplant in his three-year fight against leukemia, will be honored by NBA on TNT, Nike and the Warriors prior to Tuesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena, all in an effort to benefit the SagerStrong Foundation.
“It’s been amazing to see the impact Craig has made across the entire sports community and the outpouring of support everyone has shown him as he undergoes his fight against cancer,” Turner Sports president Lenny Daniels said in a press release. “He’s a beloved member of the Turner Sports family and we will continue to do everything we can to help drive awareness for this very important cause.”
During the pregame broadcast, Sager’s Turner Sports coworkers will unveil T-shirts inspired by the customarily colorful suit he wore while accepting the Jimmy Valvano Award at the ESPYs this past summer, complete with a phrase from his stirring speech: “Time is simply how you live your life.”
The shirts are already on sale for $29.99 on the SagerStrong Foundation website, with proceeds benefitting cancer research and education. Likewise, the Warriors and City National Bank teamed to provide all fans in attendance for Tuesday’s opener with #SagerStrong T-shirts bearing his likeness.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) October 24, 2016
A sponsor of the Warriors, City National Bank plans to donate $10,000 to the SagerStrong Foundation.
20,000 craig sagers ready for game time pic.twitter.com/P12gJOgIVe
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) October 26, 2016
Also during the NBA on TNT broadcast, the crew will announce the start of an auction for 100 customized limited edition SagerStrong NIKE Air Force 1 shoes, designed by Sager himself to feature paisley print panels, a seersucker tongue tab and multi-colored laces. The auction, which will benefit the foundation, opens at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night and closes Friday, Nov. 4. Stay tuned for details.
Nike Air Force 1 "Craig Sager" // 100 Pairs via Auction pic.twitter.com/yBJihtSlJE
— #AF1Vibes (@af1vibes) October 25, 2016
Finally, Twitter unveiled a #SagerStrong hashtag with a unique suit emoji to follow on social media.
Sager will not cover the Warriors-Spurs game, as he continues battling the disease. On Twitter last week, Craig Sager Jr. announced his father — an Illinois native, Northwestern University graduate and lifelong Chicago Cubs fan — was “cleared to spend his first night out of the hospital in 85 days.”
Someone just got cleared to spend his first night out of the hospital in 85 days! Make it a good one Cubs ???? pic.twitter.com/KEgJ54nHFG
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) October 20, 2016
The Cubs also play Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Here’s hoping Sager enjoys what’s sure to be a stacked — and colorful — evening of watching sports. Now, that’s time well spent.
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