TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich have had some great exchanges on the court over the years. And while Popovich may sometimes make things difficult for Sager, it’s clear that it’s all in good fun and the two have a great deal of respect for one another.
Sager has been battling leukemia, and his doctor recently announced he may have only three to six months to live. This update on his condition is tough to swallow for sports fans, but Sager is not going to stop fighting, and recently said “there have been some victories, and some setbacks” but that he hasn’t lost the battle either, in a recent interview which aired on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
The full segment aired on Tuesday, and is certainly worth watching. HBO also posted a bonus clip after the episode aired in which Popovich shared some thoughts on Sager. Bernard Goldberg theorized that there’s a great deal of affection between Sager and Pop during in-game interviews, and the Spurs head coach echoed that sentiment.
“He’s just been such a genuine person who really does love the NBA and he loves the game, and it comes through and you know that. Even though he does what he does design- and fashion-wise, it’s part of the shtick. But his questions are always sensible, they’re answerable and he does it with fun, he does it with humor. And so I react to that very positively, so we have a good time together.”
It’s rare that Popovich will let his guard down and be open and upfront about any issue on camera, without the snark, and it just speaks to how great Sager is as a person, and as a friend. We wish him the best in his ongoing battle, and our prayers go out to him and his family.