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Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich gives Craig Sager’s son a special — and, of course, colorful — gift

Craig Sager
Craig Sager accepts the Jimmy V award for perseverance at the ESPY Awards at Microsoft Theater on July 13.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision)

Given who his father was, Craig Sager II has probably received many colorful pieces of clothing as gifts during his lifetime.

Still, the tie he received from Gregg Popovich on Sunday night was extremely special. It was the one the San Antonio Spurs coach wore to Sager Sr.’s funeral last month.

Sager II hadn’t seen the San Antonio coach since before his father, the popular TNT sports reporter known for his outrageous outfits, died Dec. 15 after a long battle with leukemia. But the two men made it a point to get together when the Spurs were in Atlanta, where the younger Sager lives, on Sunday.

https://twitter.com/CraigSagerJr/status/815971927214977024
https://twitter.com/CraigSagerJr/status/816102971771670529

Popovich had a special relationship with the elder Sager. Their on-air battles became legendary, while an off-camera friendship also developed. On the night Sager died, Popovich told reporters:

“To talk about him being a professional and good at what he did is a tremendous understatement. All of us who knew him understood that that fact was what he was all about as far as work was concerned, but he was a way better person than he was a worker — even though he was amazing in that regard. He loved people. He enjoyed pregames, during games, postgames. He loved all the people around it, and everybody felt that.”

While his father underwent treatment for leukemia during the 2014, the younger Sager took his spot on TNT and got to experience an in-game interview with Popovich himself.

The coach took it easy on the young man. "You did a great job,” Popovich told him on air, “but I'd rather have your father here."

 

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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