This is not the first time Nike has manufactured Craig Sager tribute sneakers. Last year, when Sager, who was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, returned to the air after his first round of treatments, Nike invited fans to vote on a special Sager-inspired colorway of Kevin Durant’s KD 7 EXT sneakers. Options included snake, zebra, cheetah and leopard. Sager went with the snake.
Since Sager was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, he’s undergone multiple treatments, including two stem-cell transplants and chemotherapy. His latest round of treatments includes bone-marrow transplants.
After a brief respite from the disease, Sager announced his leukemia had returned in March, which once again meant he only occasionally could appear on the air. His last broadcast came during Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals, when fans and players delighted in his return.
The 66-year-old broadcaster was supposed to work his first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month, but the need for more treatments forced him to cancel his plans.
Prior to that, Sager had made other public appearances, including attending the ESPYs, where he was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
“To everybody out there, we are making progress — incredible progress,” he said in his acceptance speech “… We are going to find a cure for cancer.”