The passing of legendary broadcaster Craig Sager on Thursday brought condolences from all across the game of basketball. His death affected many in the NBA, including members of the Wizards. Here are reactions from Wizards players, head coach Scott Brooks and Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy, as expressed on Friday:
"He will definitely be missed. When he has those short moments with you, he makes you feel like you guys are best friends. I thought I was one of his best friends, but as I'm reading and listening to all the people talk about him the last couple days, he's had a lot of best friends. He's had an impact not only in the job that he does, but also in how he did it. He's had an impact with me and the coaching world and players and my kids when they were a lot younger. They used to always say 'who's the crazy guy with the crazy suits?' He definitely will be missed, but what an impact around the league.
"You always only had a few minutes either during a game, before or after, but he always made you feel like you knew each other for a long time. I think when you look back you always think about people how they treat not only you, but how they treat people around you. He was always very friendly to everyone that I introduced him to.
"I think we're going to all take a lot from [his fight against cancer], his positive attitude going through some tough times and being there and being strong for his family. That's inspiring. Hopefully his life is going to help somebody find a cure for cancer. What he's done with his time is a lot more than what people have done with more time. It's pretty powerful to say that about a man's life."
STAN VAN GUNDY
"It's sad. I think Craig taught us all a lot of lessons, even before he got sick. Just in the way he approached everything. He had fun and understood what it was all about, this whole experience of living. Even more so when he got sick. His whole approach. He was more positive with that going on than I am with the basic ups and downs. You have to be impressed with the way he lived his life and hopefully you learn something from it."
"I remember as a little kid getting to watch him on the Christmas games and he was in the crazy suits. Just his overall demeanor and how great of a person he was to everybody. He treated everybody with love and respect. For the players and coaching staff to show love back, that doesn't come around often."
"Craig was a legendary icon in this league. I've been in this league 10 years and I've seen him since Day 1. He had an incredible impact on people. He was an incredible personality. The way he dressed, the way he talked and the way he kept cool about all those comments people made about how he dressed, he was just a tremendous person."
"You could just tell he had spirit and that he was content with his job and that he took it very seriously. I think we can all look at him as an example, how he came to his job every day and never changed. He always sounded the same and was very energetic about what he did."
"He's meant a lot to so many people. He kind of changed the game for us. What he did, his character and the guy he was, that was a reflection of how everybody should live. He was a strong guy with strong beliefs and a very unselfish person. We definitely lost a good one yesterday."
"[His fight] was very inspirational, especially to me because my mom had cancer, too. It was a different cancer than he had, but they went through similar things. To see him battle, he was a true soldier."