One of the NBA's signature non-player personalities, TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager, will not be a part of the 2014 playoffs. His son announced on Twitter Thursday that Sager has been stricken with acute leukemia and will be undergoing treatment for the next several weeks. ESPN's Keith Olbermann confirmed the news Thursday night in a touching tribute to Sager, his longtime colleague at Turner.
Sager is best known for his outrageous suits and frequent battles with Gregg Popovich. He's one of the longest-tenured broadcasters in the NBA -- multiple generations of basketball fans have watched Sager stroll the hardwood with a microphone.
Sager isn't the first NBA On TNT personality to fight cancer in recent years: Ernie Johnson battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006. Johnson talked about his cancer quite a bit publicly, and returned to NBA On TNT while undergoing chemotherapy. E.J. came back strong as ever, and we're sure Sager will as well. Best wishes to the Sager family. Fight on.
UPDATE: A statement from Sager is below -- awesome to see he's taking his sense of humor into the battle ahead.
"My favorite time of year - city to city, round by round, 40 games in 40 nights. A dramatic turn has matched me with acute myeloid leukemia. From the sidelines to being sidelined, 40 veins and 40 electrolytes. Too bad, I had some probing questions for Pop."