By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com
December 26, 2016: In July, Craig Sager received the Jimmy V Perseverance ESPY Award in July, presented by Vice President Joseph Biden, where he delivered an emotional yet uplifting speech about his cancer battle.
His words from the ceremony will resonate for a long time to come.
'Time is simply how you live your life," were among the thoughts Sager shared.
Sager, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2014, revealed this past March that his cancer was no longer in remission.
After two-year battle, he passed away on Dec. 15.
But not before leaving a legacy of strength, courage and tenacity, supported by Turner Sports, the NBA and an extended family across all walks of life.
In the NBA and other sports immediately after his passing, coaches, players and fans wore special Sager T-shirts to honor the man. The outpouring has continued with players, coaches and media worldwide showing their respect for Sager while driving awareness of the Sager Strong Foundation.
A Turner Sports NBA sideline reporter who joined the company in 1980, Sager impacted millions, and continues to impact them, via the #SagerStrong battle cry and the Sager Strong Foundation, launched with his wife, Stacy.
In October, in cooperation with the Sager Strong Foundation, TNT/Bleacher Report and Auction Cause, NIKEiD auctioned off 100 pairs of Air Force One’s designed by the fashion icon himself, complete with paisley print panels, a seersucker tongue tab and multi-colored laces.
A portion of the proceeds went to the Sager Strong Foundation, which is raising funds and driving awareness to help those battling leukemia.
The Golden State Warriors also created a "Sager Strong" T-shirt that was given to all fans attending the team’s Opening Night game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Upon his passing Warriors coach Steve Kerr was among the countless friends who remember Sager.
"He had a spirit and an energy that very few people I’ve been around have ever possessed," Kerr said. "It’s not an easy day."
"Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us," David Levy, president for Turner, said in a statement upon Sager’s passing. "There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.
"While he will be remembered fondly for his colorful attire and the TNT sideline interviews he conducted with NBA coaches and players, it’s the determination, grace and will to live he displayed during his battle with cancer that will be his lasting impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig’s wife, Stacy, and the entire Sager family during this difficult time. We will forever be Sager Strong," said Levy.
At Sager’s funeral, in response to the words from the man himself, Turner broadcaster and analyst and long-time friend of Sager, Ernie Johnson, said, "There’s no way to gauge the days we have and no way to tell how long, But know this, Craig, we’ll do our best to live them Sager strong."
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