Craig Sager II: Wasn’t Pleased When Dad First Returned

Craig Sager II dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss “Living Out Loud: Sports, Cancer, and the Things Worth Fighting For,” a book he co-authored with his father. But first, he addressed the health of the eccentric-suit-wearing Craig Sager, who is battling leukemia.

“Well, he’s been through three transplants in a 26-month period,” Sager said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence.” I think going through one is a challenge. Going through two in a five-year period would be a challenge because you still need time to recover and you really are starting over. Those chicken pox shots you got, the measles shots you got, now you have to get them over again when you get a brand-new immune system. So he has had to start over three times back-to-back. This third time, it’s really tough. But we’re just taking it one day at a time and just being there for him. We have the best doctors in the world looking over him, and we’re just thankful to still have him here.”

The 65-year-old Sager is quite literally the most recognizable broadcaster in sports, often wearing zany and colorful suits and ties that make him easy to spot from any vantage point in any building.

Where exactly does his sense of style come from?

“It’s a question that I’ve wanted to have an answer to for a while,” Sager said. “But I feel like everyone else says, ‘What is he wearing?’ And my mindset has been, ‘What is he going to wear next?’ Because I have seen it evolve over time. It didn’t start at this level. I noticed his ties were becoming a little more colorful. Then next thing you know, the jacket. Next thing you know he can’t even buy his clothes at the store and he’s getting them custom made. He’s always had his stops in different cities. He plans it out, but he still does it impulsively. He doesn’t buy the suit too far in advance. It’s more of an in-the-moment decision where this represents the city, this represents the moment. As much as a lot of people argue it can be a little too much and it isn’t necessarily stylish, I think we all have to give him an A for effort because you can just tell that he is in his element and being himself.”

Sager courageously covered the NBA playoffs despite his illness. His son had mixed feelings about that – at least initially.

“The first time my dad returned to the sidelines, I wasn’t necessarily too pleased with it,” he said. “I felt like he rushed back, and I wanted to spend more time with him. I couldn’t understand why we had just gone through all that and then he was returning to work so soon. I wanted to be there with him. Then he comes back, and man, did he have to battle that second time. Then he’s back again. But this time I can appreciate it a lot more. There were so many negative things in sports, and when he came back, it made me feel so much better. I had an appreciation for sports again.”

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