By remaining defiantly optimistic and energetic during a grueling, two-year battle with cancer, TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager has evolved from the NBA's most colorful character into its most esteemed. Subscribe now for more in-depth coverage, only in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Maggie Gray welcomes SI senior writer Lee Jenkins back to the Gray Area Podcast to talk about his latest feature for Sports Illustrated on TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager. In this episode, they discuss Sager’s flashy suits and wardrobe, why everyone around the league likes him so much, the dangers of his travel schedule, his health and more.
An excerpt from Jenkins's story:
Sager is not the guy who provides dissertations on pick-and-roll defense. He is the guy who once slept next to the stall of Seattle Slew the night before the horse won the Triple Crown, who bailed Morganna the Kissing Bandit out of jail, who surprised Shaquille O’Neal by boat at his Isleworth home. An interview with Sager should really be conducted at the dog track, where he used to own greyhounds, or a Hooters, where servers clad in Sager Orange bring him Bud Light and buffalo shrimp. He should be perched on a barstool next to his wife, Stacy—a former Bulls dancer 21 years his junior—regaling strangers with a story about Dennis Rodman, who went AWOL from the Pistons in 1993 and planned to commit suicide, until Sager tracked down the Worm on the second floor of a Detroit strip club. “The Landing Strip,” Sager recalls. “He had the gun. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be.”
Later, they look at potential candidates for the Los Angeles Lakers' next head coach, how the Golden State Warriors might fare without Stephen Curry, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phil Jackson reportedly turning down Tom Thibodeau.
You can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or SoundCloud, and you can find more great Sports Illustrated podcasts at si.com/podcasts. Tweet Maggie at @maggiegray and use the hashtag #GrayArea to give the show feedback.