The NBA Playoffs have been missing one of its most iconic voices and personalities as sideline reporter Craig Sager has missed the games while battling acute leukemia.
The good news is, his son reports, Sager is already on his way home and his treatment is going well:
Since Tue, My Dad's White Blood tests have gone from 6>100>220>a 600 just now & HE GETS TO GO HOME TODAY! We can't believe it
It is going really well as Sager is hoping to get the go-ahead to do some more strenuous activity than putting. I would still doubt we see him this postseason, but Sager will be raring to go when the season rolls around next fall.
There were some truly dark times, however, as Sager related in a first person account told to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:
So I went to the hospital, and they checked my hemoglobin and said I was 4.6, and you’re supposed to be between 13 to 16. They said, “You’re walking dead”—that they never had anybody functioning, let alone standing, with a hemoglobin that low. Usually somebody who’s that low has been in a car accident and lost tons of blood or had some type of trauma. The doctors told me the fact that I was in good shape pushed me through the illness, but my body finally just had enough and it hit a brick wall. The next thing that could’ve happened is my body would’ve shut down and I might have had a heart attack.
Sager said a rush of tiredness came over him pretty quickly and the trip from covering games every night and the busy schedule of an NBA sideline reporter turned into a trip to a hospital in Dallas fairly quickly.
The good news is the NBA family has taken care of Sager. He received so many well wishes that first weekend of the Playoffs that he said it truly lifted his spirits. Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett sent gifts to Sager personally and the TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith have all visited Sager to keep his spirits up.
The whole NBA family is certainly still behind Sager. If anyone can beat this, it is Craig.