Craig Sager’s leukemia will prevent him from joining the NBC broadcast team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The network announced on Thursday the veteran reporter would instead prepare for his third bone marrow transplant as he fights the cancer that threatens his life.
Sager is best known for his NBA coverage and litany of colorful, eye-catching, and occasionally horrible suits. He was first diagnosed with cancer 2014, but has been an inspirational figure after making his battle against leukemia public shortly thereafter. He went into remission in 2015, but the disease returned earlier this year.
That didn’t stop him from doing his job, however. Sager vowed to keep fighting and remained a constant presence on TNT’s NBA broadcasts. This led basketball stars from Allen Iverson to Steph Curry to lend their support to the veteran reporter. He worked his first-ever NBA Finals this June as TNT and ESPN worked out an agreement to bring Sager across networks to provide updates from one of the most-watched basketball series of all time.
Sager won’t be around to profile Demar DeRozan as he dunks on people, or Carmelo Anthony as he takes on off-the-court issues. Instead, he’ll prepare for a fight tougher than any competition U.S. athletes will face in Brazil. Knowing how much support he’s received from the NBA and broadcasters across the country since beginning his battle, he’ll be present in the hearts of hundreds at the 2016 Summer Olympics.