Just about any casual NBA fan nationwide knows Craig Sager has long been renowned for his wild wardrobe habits on the floor, but the man who makes much of it happen behind the scenes has spent most of his career in anonymity.
At least that was the case until Thursday, when KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston, ran this feature story on Sager's bond with Ali Taghi.
Taghi is a Houston resident who has served as Sager's tailor for the past 15 years, becoming the catalyst of what have unquestionably been some of the NBA's boldest outfits to date:
"It looks great on him," Taghi told KHOU. "He carries that look better than anybody else. That's his logo. Some people cannot wear it, but Craig Sager (can) because of his personality."
Beyond Sager's unparalleled bravery in terms of fashion choices, the past two years have also seen Sager's courage tested in a different way, as the 34-year NBA reporter has been in a constant battle with leukemia. Sager has seen ups – like earning the Jim Valvano Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPYs – and downs – like being forced to withdraw from covering basketball at the Olympics due to a rigorous treatment schedule – during the past two years, but his friendship with Taghi has been one constant.
"I sneak out [of the hospital to visit Taghi] ... I gotta get some fresh air and do stuff," said Sager, who recently left Taghi an autographed Sports Illustrated cover saying, "Thanks for keeping me bright."
"If they don't have any [clothes], they take care of me. And it's not just the sports coats and stuff that I wear."
As KHOU correspondent Larry Seward touchingly states, the bond between these two figures is tighter than any stitching, and that won't be changing any time soon.
“The most important part about him is he cares about people," Taghi said. "The reason he's successful with fighting cancer (is) because he never gives in."
More Craig Sager:
-- Team USA Basketball Gives Emotional Goodbyes To Craig Sager
-- Sports Illustrated Puts Craig Sager On Its Cover
-- Craig Sager FaceTimes With College Football Player Who Beat Cancer