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Craig Sager gets touching tribute from Gregg Popovich during NBA playoffs (video)

Craig Sager’s outfit for the NCAA tournament featured a bracket tie. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

On Sunday, TNT made the perfect choice to fill in for sideline reporter Craig Sager.

They went with his son Craig Jr.

The result was touching, most of all for his father, who will miss the NBA playoffs this year as he undergoes treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. His outfit was a little more subdued than his dad’s, but the ponytail helped make up for that.

And, to boot, there was a sideline interview with San Atonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, with whom his dad has had a number of memorable encounters. This one was especially nice, though, with the Spurs occasionally irascible coach sending a message during the Spurs-Dallas Mavericks game.

“We miss you,” Popovich said into the camera. “You’ve been an important part of all of this for a long time doing a great job. We want your fanny back on the court and I promise I’ll be nice. Get back here. Good luck.”

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s some of the best of Pop:

Popovich wasn’t the only one thinking of the elder Sager. The TNT studio crew paid their own tribute.

Sager’s leukemia was announced by his son on Twitter on Thursday night and Sager released a statement Friday night:

My favorite time of year – city to city, round by round, 40 games in 40 nights. A dramatic turn has matched me with acute myeloid leukemia. From the sidelines to being sidelined, 40 veins and 40 electrolytes. Too bad, I had some probing questions for Pop.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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