Sager says he’s no longer in remission from leukemia


VIDEO: Sager makes return to sidelines in March 2015

Craig Sager’s battle with leukemia has entered new territory.

The TNT announcer told Bernard Goldberg of HBO’s “Real Sports” that doctors told him in February he was no longer in remission from the acute myeloid leukemia he has been battling for the past two years.

Known for his flamboyant attire and his testy/comical in-game sideline exchanges with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, the 64-year-old Sager said he is now entering “uncharted waters” in his fight that has included multiple courses of treatment, including chemotherapy.

“I’ve already had two stem cell transplants,” Sager told HBO. “Very rarely does somebody have a third. So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this.”

Sager has suffered previous setbacks in waging the battle for his health that began in April 2014. Mere weeks after being cleared to resume television work in March of 2015, Sager’s leukemia returned and he had to give up his assignments during the 2015 NCAA tournament and “NBA on TNT” telecasts.

Following several months of treatment that included a transplant of bone marrow donated by his son, Craig II, Sager came back for the NBA’s Media Day to open the season in September, worked on Opening Night and had his first televised reunion with Popovich in December.

Sager continued to make monthly trips to Houston for treatment throughout the season and resumed his responsibilities at the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend in Toronto in February, but his health also took a turnaround last month.

“Still kicking, still fighting,” Sager told Goldberg in the interview. “I haven’t won the battle. It’s not over yet. But I haven’t lost it, either. There have been some victories and some setbacks, but I still have to fight it. A lot of work to do.”

In a statement released through Turner Sports, Sager clarified the following about his “Real Sports” interview:

“I’m grateful to HBO for telling my story and I’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing support.  I have acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive type of cancer.  The typical prognosis is 3-6 months to live, but I would like to stress that is for a patient who is not receiving treatment.  Fortunately, I am receiving the best treatment in the world and I remain fully confident I will win this battle.

“Again, I would like to thank everyone for your generosity and encouragement.  I sincerely appreciate it and it means so much to me and my family.  I look forward to continuing my work on the sidelines for Turner Sports.”

Sager plans to continue carrying out his NBA duties on “NBA on TNT” broadcasts, and he’s scheduled to work the sidelines for the March 29 matchup between the Wizards and Warriors, March 31 between the Bulls and Rockets, and the April 7 between the Bulls and Heat.

 

The full interview aired during Tuesday’s episode of “Real Sports” on HBO.

30 Comments

  1. Andrew Gonzales says:

    My soul goes out to Sager…I’ll continue to smile whenever I see him albeit in person or on TV. There’s power in hope!

  2. jimmy says:

    In my prayers Sager! You can beat this!

  3. KaYaK says:

    Craig Sager get better my man! You are such a great reporter you could probably make Bill Belichick laugh. I hope you recovery completely.

  4. DTP says:

    Craig, we love you, keep it up. I hope you know you’re as much a part of the game to me as the hoops, the ball, and the court. Get better, and keep fighting, my friend.

  5. Phoenix00 says:

    All the best Craig, we love you and miss you already! Get back to us soon, you are truly the best!!

  6. I misunderstood the headlines. Best wishes to Craig Sager, a very strong man who has endured this cancer now for the 3rd time. .

  7. Hurdylyn Woods says:

    Stay strong Craig!!!!

  8. Ken says:

    God bless! All the best Mr Sager, I hope you can make a full recovery soon!

  9. Will says:

    Seggy you gonna beat this

  10. Phil says:

    Keep fighting, Craig. We love you…and your outfits. Be strong like you are.

  11. Martin Ouédraogo says:

    MONSIEUR SADER

    We, french basketball and NBA fans do appriciate You A LOT.

    Waiting for more for of Your unique “verbal duels” with the NBA coaches.

    WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AND LISTEN TO YOU FOR MORE MANY MANY YEARS.

    FROM FAR OVER THE SEE AND AT YOUR SIDE;

    MY STRONGEST WISHES FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE

    OM

  12. Grenadian LIONKING H.D says:

    All the best To you mr Sager. Keep the smile going

  13. patrick says:

    this guy is misinformed. He doesn’t have remission now but check back in 5-10 years. And zero mention of cannabis plants as being the best cancer fighter

  14. ALI KHAN says:

    ALLAH BLESS YOU.

  15. Really sorry to hear this…I lost my dad to Leukemia…I hope Craig makes a full recovery!

  16. UMiami008 says:

    God bless!

  17. The U says:

    Stay strong & god bless! You’re an inspiration to us all!

  18. The Voice of Reason says:

    It is clear that his job makes him SICK!!!

  19. Michelle Newman says:

    My prayers are with you and your family.
    A friend of mind has the quote below as part of her email signature… Have a great day😊😊

    “When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen. Either you will step onto something solid, or you will be taught how to fly.” Author Unknown

  20. Jean-Philippe says:

    Best wishes for recovery to Craig Sager. NBA games are definitively not the same without him.
    We all want to see him and his suits on the sidelines.

  21. Phil says:

    Global love and hope for you Craig!! #sagerstrong

  22. B ADEPOJU says:

    You’re the man craig

  23. Fred says:

    Praying for you Craig, Keep fighting.

  24. enthusiast says:

    People should stop eating carbs , specially grains.to prevent cancer

  25. DEMEISHA says:

    You can and will beat this , you are a fighter. The NBA will be nothing without you the sideline in your suits.

  26. Par says:

    Damn. terrible news. All the best Craig!

  27. Corey S. says:

    dont give up man… We are pulling for you…