Iconic Turner Sports NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager, who has been fighting a very public battle with leukemia, will join ESPN's coverage of game six of the NBA Finals Thursday (June 16), when the Golden State Warriors could clinch their second title in a row or the Cleveland Cavaliers could push it to a game seven.
The ESPN-produced telecast will air at 9 p.m. (ET) on ABC.
It gives Sager, a 34-year Turner Sports vet, a chance to work an NBA Finals for the first time — TNT has NBA Playoffs coverage, but not the Finals.
Sager said his joining the ABC telecast was the networks' idea, and he is glad of it. “I’d like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity to be part of The Finals broadcast team,” Sager said following the announcement.
Sager will be seeing more of ESPN next month. On July 13, he is scheduled to receive ESPN's Jimmy V Perseverance award, named for the late North Carolina State basketball coach who also publicly battled cancer.
“Craig is an iconic member of the NBA family who indelibly makes his mark on each and every broadcast. I know our entire team is delighted to work with Craig for Game 6," said John Wildhack, ESPN EVP, production and programming. "We all agree his professional reputation is second-to-none, though it’s his personal reputation — that of class, selflessness and respect — which makes this even more special for our team."
Also second to none are Sager's sartorial choices. His trademark outfits tend to be louder than a raucous NBA Finals crowd.