In a truly sweet moment, on Sunday, TNT sent Craig Sager Jr. out to do the on-court interviews in place of his father, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for leukemia. The usually gruff and taciturn Gregg Popovich went soft, wishing Craig Sr. the best and promising to be nice to him when he returns. Sager is a little weirded out by that.
Speaking to SI.com's Richard Deitsch, Sager says that just wouldn't be Pop:
"Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, Oh, my God, that's unbelievable, what an honor," said Sager. "But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn't be right. I want him to go Serbian on me."
Sager also received a handwritten letter from Popovich, so he probably needn't have worried about Pop being short with his son—but he did anyway:
"When they said my son was going to interview Pop, man, I was nervous. I knew he was going to do a good job, but I was fidgety. So it's the end of the third quarter, Tim Duncan gets hurt and we don't know what is wrong, and the Spurs have lost their lead. When you interview Pop, you have to be prepared, and it's usually better to interview Pop if they are winning."
Popovich was named Coach of the Year today, becoming only the third coach to win the award three times. And Sager? He's surrounded by family, watching playoff hoops.