Craig Sager, Turner Sports’ longtime NBA sideline reporter, will join ESPN’s broadcast team for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, the network announced Wednesday.
Sager, who has been waging a long, public battle with leukemia, never has worked an NBA Finals game before. He will share sideline reporting duties with Doris Burke. The game is at 9 p.m. on ABC.
“I’d like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity to be part of The Finals broadcast team,” Sager said in a news release. “I’ve been watching the series very closely and, while I do not want to distract in any way from the event itself, I look forward to being in the building for what will be an incredibly exciting Game 6. The NBA community is a very special one and this is a great honor.”
Sager is to receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS on July 13.
“Craig is an iconic member of the NBA family who indelibly makes his mark on each and every broadcast,” ESPN executive vice president John Wildhack said. “I know our entire team is delighted to work with Craig for Game 6. We all agree his professional reputation is second-to-none, though it’s his personal reputation — that of class, selflessness and respect — which makes this even more special for our team. We hope that this will be a special night for Craig and for NBA fans. We are grateful for his interest and for the continued collaboration with our friends at Turner.”
Game 6 was the only game Sager was able to work because of his scheduled cancer treatments, he told SI.com. The Cavaliers’ victory in Game 5 on Monday extended the series and gave him his chance.