I’ve been covering the NBA. To have gone to big games over the past 2½ decades was to have spent time with Sager. It doesn’t feel like our friendship evolved over that time, because it seemed like he was as warm and friendly with me from the beginning as he was so many years and job changes (for me) later.
But outside of Sager’s wife and children, his colleagues at Turner Sports were closest to him, and they are feeling his loss in ways the rest of us can’t imagine.
“He never had a bad day,” Turner Sports Vice President of Talent Relations Tara August said via text message. “He once drove me around the ropes in a golf cart at the PGA Championship and told me the entire story of how he fell in love with Stacy on their first date and slept on her couch until she fell in love with him. He always had a story.”
August doles out the assignments for Turner’s on-air talent. She bosses around the likes of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, gets them to move at her whim in a way that a generation of NBA big men failed to do. (Shaq jokingly calls her “She-del Castro.”) Their obedience often comes with a lot of grumbling. That wasn’t the case with Sager.