Sager to call first NBA Finals

Sager to call first NBA Finals

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 2:11 a.m. ET

Nearly four months after he was given 3-6 months to live, NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager will be part of the ESPN broadcast crew for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Friday in Cleveland.

Sager, a Turner Sports employee for 34 years, gets the chance to call his first Finals. He has been battling leukemia since the April 2014 diagnosis, and was given three to six months to live by doctors treating him in February.

Sager, 64, has received bone-marrow and stem-cell transplants from his son, Craig. He said in a March interview with HBO that doctors were blunt but careful not to project a hopeless forecast.

"Well, you've got normally three to six months to live," Sager said of what he was told. "But somebody may only have a week. Somebody may have five years. You could be the first one to five years."

ESPN will present Sager with the Jimmy V Perserverance Award at the ESPYs in July.

"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 in a statement. "I've been watching the series very closely and, while I do not want to distract in any way from the event itself, I look forward to being in the building for what will be an incredibly exciting Game 6. The NBA community is a very special one and this is a great honor."

Sager, known for his flamboyant wardrobe, said at the time he was entering "unchartered waters."


"I've already had two stem cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third," Sager told HBO. "So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this."