Craig Sager has been a courtside reporter for the NBA for 26 years. He lived and breathed basketball. And he died yesterday.
I was watching a video about him this morning. He spoke to an audience, wearing a delightfully outrageous sports jacket full of flowers from the rainbow.
“I will live my life full of love and full of fun. It’s the only way I know how.”
I stared at the screen. He was me. I figured out a few years ago that my life was about two things: loving people and making them laugh. Hi Craig.
Tributes have poured in:
“He was a way better person than he was a worker, even though he was amazing in that regard. He loved all the people around him and everybody felt that.”
“If my dad was right and time really is how you live your life, then that son of a bitch outlived us all.”
“You could be on my team any day.”
“He gives everything realness.”
“Thank you for being you! Brought the best out of everyone you met.”
“God bless you Craig Sager for your wit, the way you entertained us, made us smile and for your sheer will and courage, class and dignity.”
“Craig Sager may be the only man that could get away with those brightly colored suits and gators to match AND GET AWAY WITH AND OWN IT.”
“A life well lived.”
“When I think of him, I just think of joy, of smiling. A dude you could have fun with, somebody that had pride but didn’t take himself too seriously.”
“Was able to take a joke, and able to give a joke, was able to understand what a good time was. We love you Craig.”
I know that I’m loved by some people. Many no doubt will say nice things about me when I die. I’m not Craig Sager. I’m Bruce Kerr. We’re brothers.
Last words to you, dear man:
“Sports are supposed to be fun, and so I have fun with the way I dress”
“I try to get there three hours before the game, talk with the ushers and the security guards, the coaches and the fans”
“I laid in the hospital for months, hoping to do this again”