Dave Mangels / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty
It’s been nearly a year since legendary NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager died following a long battle with cancer.
To mark the anniversary of his passing, Sager’s wife, Stacy, penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune filled with stories about her late husband and four pieces of wisdom that helped make him the well respected reporter he was.
This was the first:
What a lot of people don’t know is that Craig didn’t have a producer in his ear telling him the questions to ask. He refused to have that. Instead, he was extremely prepared. He had his own notes that he kept on notepads, and he also spent hours and hours before a game planning everything out.
To Craig, preparation set you free – the more script you prepared, the more you could go off script.
If, for example, he knew he’d only have time for a three-question interview after a game, Craig would have 20 questions prepared in his head so that he could go one way or another depending on the player’s responses. He was always trying to be in the moment. He was so good on his feet and quick witted. However, the listening and preparation were far more important reasons for his success.
Stacy also shed some light on Sager’s relationship with his colleagues and players, describing him as a “big kid.”
“He just had fun every day. And he treated every player as though they were an All-Star,” she wrote. “I think that came across to people. He never worked a day in his life, he’d always say, and I think he’s one of a kind in that way.”