TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager had a bone marrow transplant this week, his third in three summers, and is continuing to receive treatment for acute myeloid leukemia at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. A few days before the transplant, TNT analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley visited his friend and colleague in the hospital against his doctor’s orders — Barkley had a hip replacement recently and was not supposed to travel yet, via the Associated Press’ Kristie Rieken:
Sir Charles had hip replacement surgery less than a month ago and wasn’t cleared to travel. He said his doctor was livid when he learned Barkley had defied orders and flown halfway across the country. Barkley informed the doctor that it was an emergency.
“Craig Sager is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met,” Barkley said. “We go to see Sager to cheer him up and by the time you leave you’re like, ‘Is anything wrong with him?’ He has the most positive attitude … When you go to try and cheer him up his attitude is so upbeat he cheers you up.”
Barkley did this because Sager’s wife, Stacy, had a cold and was advised to stay home so her husband could not catch it. Barkley heard about this while in Phoenix and got on a plane to give Sager some support.
Sager’s son, Craig Sager Jr., tweeted his appreciation on Tuesday:
Have to thank Barkley for keeping my Dad company today in Houston as he finished his final prep work & for being there every step. 💯
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) August 31, 2016
Sager, 65, has suffered from leukemia since 2014. The beloved broadcaster continued to work games for TNT in the playoffs a few months ago while undergoing chemotherapy, even calling the first NBA Finals game of his career for ESPN/ABC.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Against doctor’s orders, Charles Barkley visited Craig Sager in hospital