HOUSTON - Craig Sager never once thought about giving up as he battled cancer for more than two years.
"Man, life is too beautiful, too wonderful, there's just too many things," he said in late August. "It's not just you. It's your family and kids and all. Fight. Fight until the end. Fight as hard as you can."
The end for the beloved TNT broadcaster came Thursday when the man known as much for his outrageous wardrobe as his relationships with the NBA's elite succumbed to the disease he fought so hard to overcome. Turner Sports announced his death without disclosing details. He was 65 and had worked basketball games for TNT for nearly a quarter-century.
"There will never be another Craig Sager," Turner president David Levy said. "His incredible talent, tireless work ethic, and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports."
His son, Craig Jr., posted a loving video tribute to his father, tweeting: "We packed a lifetime and then some into these 28 years together."
Sager, who announced in April 2014 that he had acute myeloid leukemia, had two bone marrow transplants with his son as the donor before undergoing a third one from an anonymous donor at the end of August in Houston to fight an aggressive form of leukemia. To no one's surprise, he was characteristically cheerful.
Earlier this year, Sager was involved in the television coverage of the NCAA Final Four and had a memorable postgame interview with Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.
"I'm proud of you," Boeheim told Sager on air after the Orange lost in the national semifinals. "I'm really proud of you and what you're doing. You're a fighter and that's something we all should really aspire to be. You're setting an example that we all should be really happy to try to follow."
Sager replied, "Well, thank you very much."