The love between TNT broadcaster Craig Sager and San Antonio Spurs Coach Greg Popovich has been well-documented over the past few years, and now, there’s a pin for it.
The company behind the wonderful product, Patti Lapel, developed a pin displaying Popovich with his arm around Sager during a television interview. Sager is characteristically sporting one of his signature loud suits and Popovich looks as stoic as ever — deep down, they both care for one another, as they’ve proved over the past several years. The company also revealed that 15 percent of the money made from the $10 pins would be going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Sager is currently away from his television sideline duties due to a reemergence of the cancer that has plagued him for the past two years. Despite a bone marrow transplant that initially forced the cancer into remission in 2014, it was announced that it had returned in 2015. Then, after having fought the cancer into remission once again, Sager revealed in March that he would be undergoing treatment for the reemerged leukemia.
Popovich is known for being particularly hard on sideline interviewers, which, to the national audience, has usually been Sager. The two have formed a friendship despite Popovich’s objection to mid-game interviews, which has paved the way for several uncharacteristically open and emotional moments for the 67-year old coach.
In a recent interview with HBO’s Real Sports, Popovich opened up about the pair’s relationship.
“He’s just been such a genuine person who really does love the NBA and loves the game, and it comes through and you know that,” he said. “Even though he does what he does design- and fashion-wise, you know it’s part of the shtick. But his questions are always sensible, they’re always answerable and he does it with fun. He does it with humor. I react to that very positively. So we have a good time together.”
Sager first battled the disease in 2014 and was forced to miss the entirety of the NBA Playoffs. In his place, his son, Craig Sager Jr., conducted a quarter-transition interview with Popovich during a first-round matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio.
The Spurs coach took a moment at the end of the affair to address the elder Sager directly then, wishing him a fast recovery and promising to be nicer in future interviews.