Craig Sager’s Embrace of Life and Career a Model for Every Reporter to Follow

December 16th, 2016 by Ric Bucher Leave a reply »

Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal, in discussing the passing of their TNT colleague, Craig Sager, noted that they'd never heard of anyone who didn't like Sager.

But there was someone, I must admit: me.

Many years ago, when I was an NBA beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News and then the Washington Post, I held a healthy skepticism of any "TV talking head," especially one that called himself a reporter yet wore outrageous look-at-me outfits. I had never had any interaction with Craig other than a courteous nod as we passed each other milling about before an NBA game, and I had no desire to get to know him.

I was a young reporter in an era when the journalistic creed was more conservative, and it offended those journalist sensibilities that he or any reporter should seem to make himself part of the story. (I repeat: This was many, many years ago.)

When I heard that Sager had spent his undergrad years at Northwestern University as a mascot, it only fed my disdain. I snarkily tagged him as simply having traded his Willie the Wildcat costume for ones that didn't include a furry head.

But my vi ...

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