What was Craig Sager’s Net Worth?
Craig Sager was an American sportscaster and sideline reporter who had a net worth of $9.5 million and salary of $1 million at the time of his death. Craig Sager earned his net worth as a sportscaster for TNT and TBS from 1981 until he passed away on December 15, 2016. He was known for his distinctive clothing style in which he commonly wore velvet suits, colorful ties, Nehru jackets, and other bizarre articles of clothing while entertaining the masses behind the microphone.
Craig Graham Sager was born on June 29, 1951, in Batavia, Illinois, where he attended Batavia High School. His friends growing up were basketball teammates Ken Anderson and Dan Issel. Craig had an essay published in 1966 in the Congressional Record for a patriotism contest sponsored by the American Legion titled “How and Why I Should Show Respect to the American Flag” for which he gained significant recognition. Sager was a 1973 graduate of Northwestern University where he earned a bachelor’s in Speech. He wasn’t great at sports, but he seemed to find his calling donning the costume of the school’s mascot, Willie the Wildcat. He would go on to become one of the world’s best sports entertainers.
Before working for CBS, Craig Sager began his broadcast career in 1972 at WXLT in Sarasota, Florida. Craig worked as a radio news director in 1974 and got to be on the field in Atlanta when Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th home run. He joined CNN in 1981 after handling the network’s first live remote report from the 1980 baseball playoffs. Sager was the co-anchor of the network’s show “CNN Sports Tonight” and also served as the anchor of “College Football Scoreboard” from 1982-1985 for CNN’s sister network, TBS. He moved to TBS full-time in 1987 to host a 30-minute Sunday night program called “The Coors Sports Page” and handled halftime reports for the Atlanta Hawks games. Sager worked wherever the network needed him, covering the Pan American Games and 1990 FIFA World Cup. During the 1992 Winter Olympics, he called Nordic skiing and curling. He also worked telecasts of golf and tennis and covered TNT telecasts of the National Football League from 1990 to 1997.
In the 90’s, Craig Sager joined Turner sports and worked primarily as a sideline reporter for “NBA on TNT,” his best-known role. This is where he really shined as a natural entertainer and became famous for his iconic look of eclectic clothing choices.
Additionally, Craig Sager also worked with NBC Sports as a field reporter for their coverage of the National League Championship Series and World Series. He became the men’s and women’s basketball reporter for their coverage of the Olympics in 2000.
Awards & Accolades
Craig Sager won the CableAce award in 1985 for his efforts while co-anchoring “CNN Sports Tonight.” He received his first Sports Emmy Award nomination in 2012 for his role as a sideline reporter for “NBA on TNT.” And with his life nearing its end in 2016, Time Warner’s Turner Sports loaned Sager to rival Disney’s ESPN to cover his first NBA Finals along with ESPN regular Doris Burke. It would be the last game he worked before his death. On July 13, 2016, Sager was awarded the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPY Awards for his battle with cancer. Just two days before his death, Craig was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Posthumously, Craig Sager was awarded his first Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Reporter by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2017. At the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, Sager was named the winner of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award.
Craig Sager had a total of five children across two marriages: Kacy, Craig II, and Krista with his first wife, Lisa Gabel, of Chillicothe, Missouri, and Ryan and Riley with his second wife, Stacy. Craig II was a walk-on wide receiver at the University of Georgia and also filled in for his father as a sideline reporter during his absence due to leukemia in 2014.
Illness and Death
Craig Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April of 2014 and had to miss the entire 2014 NBA playoffs. During basketball coverage on April 20, 2014, all coaches with games on that day gave “get well” messages to Sager between quarters. His son, Craig II, did the sideline interview with San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich, between the third and fourth quarters to air a special message to his father. The “NBA on TNT” crew also paid a special tribute to Sager by wearing suits similar to his gaudy outfits from the past. Craig Sager died at the age of 65 and was memorialized on that evening of December 15, 2016, during the game broadcast between the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. Players from each team wore tribute T-shirts during warmups designed to look like Sager’s signature suits, and Gregg Popovich gave a statement before the game lauding Craig for his expertise and courage.