Craig Sager has worked the Olympic basketball sidelines at every Games since the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Sager is an employee of Turner Sports, but he’s crossed the aisle to NBC every four summers, and he was planning to do so again in Rio as recently as April. Sadly, he announced this afternoon that he would be forced to miss the Olympics in order to prepare to receive a bone marrow transplant. He released a short statement:
Craig Sager has returned to MD Anderson to continue his fight against leukemia. He is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant which will prevent him from covering the Olympics in Rio. We wish him the best in his continued recovery.
Sager was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, and twice he’s beaten it into remission, only for it to return. In March, Sager said that he was given a “three-to-six month prognosis.” Throughout his two-year ordeal, Sager has manned the sidelines when healthy, even working a game for ABC during the NBA Finals, his first ever Finals game. Sager said that he tried to delay the bone marrow transplant until after the Olympics, but leukemia is an aggressive disease, so he had to go ahead with it and miss the Games. Let’s hope he can recover from the procedure quickly and thoroughly.