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Craig Sager doesn’t want Gregg Popovich to be nice to him

Apr 22, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT

In a kind moment, Gregg Popovich conducted an interview with Craig Sager’s son and urged the elder Sager, who’s battling leukemia, to return to work.

Popovich even pledged to be nice.

Was anyone else weirded out by that? I sure was, and apparently, so was Sager.

Sager, via Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:

“Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, Oh, my God, that’s unbelievable, what an honor,” said Sager, whose exchanges with the curt Popovich have become a much-anticipated part of TNT’s NBA telecasts. “But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn’t be right. I want him to go Serbian [Popovich was born to a Serbian father] on me.”

Here’s good news for Sager: I never believed Popovich. Sure, he’d probably be nice during Sager’s first game back. After that? Not a chance.

But now Sager has added a twist to the equation. Will Popovich be nice just to spite Sager?

  1. aurelh23 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Thats why Pops is one of if not the most respected coaches and people in the NBA.

    It was just the thought that counts to Sager as he battles cancer!

  2. duhwighthoward - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I like Sager because he’s a big guy, instead of those diminutive sideline reporters like David Aldridge who the players have to bend down to hear.

    Sager never seems intimidated by anyone either. He’s not afraid to ask players and coaches intelligent questions unlike the fluff those small people lob at them.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      Sideline reporters for the most part are a waste of time. They ask stupid questions and give us information we already know. Many sideline reporters are basically Captain Obvious.

      Craig Sager is what a sideline reporter should be though. He does ask tough and thought provoking questions, and doesn’t let players or coaches push him around in interviews.

      His suits are awful and I love them. Hope he gets better soon.

  3. antistratfordian - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    “I want him to go Serbian on me.” comes off a little strange if you’ve seen A Serbian Film.

    • basketballhooper1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      OH GOD, please people no. I’m Serbian and that movie has nothing to do with us… What Sager meant was kinda a rough personality, not that messed up stuff from Serbian film haha

      And for those that haven’t seen it, I beg you not too, for your own good.

  4. dablakdrphil - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    I want to see those terrible outlandish wonderful suits of his again

    It just does not seem the same watching TNT games without him there

  5. observingii - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Can you connect me with his tailor?

  6. gostlcards5 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    You have to love Pop….he’s a crusty, old bastard.

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