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Craig Sager (1951 - 2016)

Getty Images / Photo by Christian Petersen

Craig Sager (1951 - 2016)

Craig Sager, the longtime NBA sideline reporter known for his colorful attire, died Dec. 15, 2016, according to multiple news reports. He was 65.

Turner Sports announced his death from leukemia Thursday.

"Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us," Turner President David Levy said in a statement. "There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.

"While he will be remembered fondly for his colorful attire and the TNT sideline interviews he conducted with NBA coaches and players, it's the determination, grace and will to live he displayed during his battle with cancer that will be his lasting impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig's wife, Stacy, and the entire Sager family during this difficult time. We will forever be Sager Strong."

Many people took to social media to pay tribute to Sager including the U.S. vice president, NBA players, and broadcasting colleagues.

Vice President Joe Biden:  "Craig Sager died as he lived — with courage, passion, perseverance. Fearless and hopeful, a real hero."

Kobe Bryant: "'Time is simply how you live your life.' - Craig Sager. So grateful for the time you shared with all of us. RIP my friend."

Kevin Durant: "Long Live Craig. We love you! Rest in Paradise."

Chris Bosh: "R.I.P to Craig Sager. A true definition of a brave, charismatic, stylish, strong man. A true legend to the game of basketball."

Dennis Rodman: "Craig Sager thanks for saving my life when I was in dire need of help in Detroit back in 1993. Condolences to your family. RIP my friend."

Greg Anthony: "There is just no better person, colleague and thoughts and prayers are with his family and our Turner sports family."

Sager worked as a sideline reporter covering NBA games for TNT for almost 25 years. He announced this past March that his leukemia, which was first diagnosed in 2014, was no longer in remission. Doctors told Sager that his prognosis was three to six months to live, but "I am receiving the best treatment in the world and I remain fully confident I will win this battle."

In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said teams will observe a moment of silence in Sager's memory.

"I - along with the entire NBA family - am deeply saddened by the passing of Craig Sager," Silver said. "Craig was as vital to the NBA as the players and coaches. A true original and an essential voice on Turner Sports' NBA coverage for 26 seasons, Craig chronicled some of the most memorable moments in league history and was a ubiquitous presence with his splashy suits and equally colorful personality."

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Sager was known for his colorful suits that frequently featured checkered patterns. He was much beloved by NBA players and coaches.

Through an agreement between TNT and ESPN, Sager worked the sideline at an NBA finals game for the first time. He worked at this year’s game 6 between the Cavaliers and the Warriors.

Lebron James said to Sager during an interview after Game 6, “First of all, let me ask you a question. How in the hell do you go 30-plus years without getting a Finals game? That don't make no sense.”

"But I'm happy to see you, man. Much love and respect. I'm happy I was able to witness it in front of these fans. We really appreciate you."

Sager was born June 29, 1951, in Batavia, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. He graduated from Northwestern University.

Before he worked for TNT, Sager worked for CNN and was a co-anchor of “CNN Sports Tonight.”

Sager and his wife, Stacy, a former Chicago Bulls dancer, have two children together, Riley and Ryan. Sager also has three children from a previous marriage, including son Craig Sager Jr.

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