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Rick Carlisle: Craig Sager leaves us ‘as an unforgettable and defiant symbol of strength’

Carlisle issued a short statement after the passing of Craig Sager Thursday afternoon.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle issued a short statement through the Mavericks PR staff on Thursday after long-time TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager passed away after an extended battle with leukemia. Here was his statement.

“NBA coaches salute the impactful life and career of our friend Craig Sager. Craig was an enthusiastic foot soldier for the greatness of the NBA game and leaves us as an unforgettable and defiant symbol of strength. The thoughts and prayers of all NBA coaches go out to his family.”

Hundreds of coaches, players, media members and other figures associated with the NBA expressed condolences and honored Sager’s legacy as someone whose style was unapproachable and whose joy always may us smile. Dirk Nowitzki tweeted a short but sweet message, too.

More of the wonderful and touching Sager tributes can be found here. They’re all so incredibly touching and moving, and a large part of that is thanks to the subject himself.

Rest in peace, Craig. We miss you already.