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Fred Hoiberg pays tribute to Craig Sager during interview (video)

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Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg opted to first pay a heartfelt tribute to Craig Sager during an on-court interview before responding to the NBA on TNT reporter’s inquiries.

Sager announced recently that his acute myeloid lymphoma is no longer in remission. And while the news is dire, he has stated an intention to keep working.

Sager was on the job for the Bulls’ 103-100 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center when the following exchange occurred between reporter and coach.

Hoiberg’s entire tribute to Sager:

“Craig, first I just want to tell you what an inspiration you are, man. You’re an inspiration to everybody. I want to tell you how much it meant to me a couple years ago in the NCAA Tournament, to have the opportunity to be interviewed by you. I was never good enough as a player. To get interviewed by you, that was a real thrill for me. I just want you to know, and I know I’m speaking on behalf of everybody in the NBA, we’re praying for you and to keep fighting.”

Sager, ever the professional, thanks Hoiberg for his thoughtful words, saying, “Thank you very much, I’m trying,” before getting right back to the task at hand by asking the coach another question.

Tributes and words of support have poured in to Sager since the unfortunate announcement regarding his health. Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry also expressed heartfelt sentiments to Sager during an on-court interview last week, calling the him “an inspiration.”

And San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Sager’s longtime whimsical foil/friend, similarly has shown support and expressed admiration for Sager throughout the veteran reporter’s battle. A lapel pin depicting the two pals engaged in interview has even been created with proceeds going to cancer research.