The 2014 NBA Playoffs started on Saturday and for the games aired on TNT, something was missing. In the place of his father, who has been a mainstay on the sidelines at NBA games for years, Craig Sager Jr. prepared to interview San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich at the end of the third period during the Spurs’ 90-85 first-round, Game 1 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Sager Jr.’s suit and tie would have been loud for almost any occasion had the world not already been used to his dad’s flamboyant outfits that made him famous. But aside from that, and Sager Jr.’s awful Joakim Noah-inspired haircut, the comments made by Popovich live on television stole the show.
The man who often seems disgruntled when interviewed during the games was surprisingly pleasant and even playful despite a tie game between his top-seeded Spurs and the No. 8 seed Mavs. Pop joked around with Sager Jr. about his questions and his outfit, but then looked directly into the camera and said something so kind and sincere that most people who aren’t familiar with him probably wondered what was going on.
For those fans and viewers, Popovich’s behavior was very bizarre. But to those who know him — or at least as well as one can without actually knowing him on a personal basis — the comments were no surprise at all.
Rant Sports echoes them: Get well soon, Craig Sager, Sr. Kick leukemia’s butt.