Charles Barkley is often criticized for his outspoken ways and harsh opinion on all things basketball. However, he’s still one of the most genuine people in all of sports broadcasting.
The Hall-of-Famer was concerned for the health of Craig Sager, his TNT colleague, who underwent a third bone marrow transplant earlier this week. Normally, Barkley visiting his good friend in the hospital is a given.
However, Barkley underwent a hip surgery last month and had been advised an extended period of rehabilitation. The 1993 MVP defied doctor’s orders and flew from Phoenix to Houston to visit Sager, who continues his battle against acute myeloid leukemia.
According to The Associated Press, Barkley drew the ire of his orthopedic doctor by defying orders. “His doctor was livid when he learned Barkley had defied orders and flown halfway across the country. Barkley informed the doctor that it was an emergency,” read the report.
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) August 31, 2016
Charles Barkley: A true friend
Barkley told the news agency that he’d go to any extent to cheer up his good friend who has battled leukemia since 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
“Craig Sager is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. We go to see Sager to cheer him up and by the time you leave you’re like, ‘Is anything wrong with him?’ He has the most positive attitude … When you go to try and cheer him up his attitude is so upbeat he cheers you up,” Barkley was quoted as saying.
“When you go to try and cheer him up, his attitude is so upbeat, he cheers you up,” added Barkley.
Sager, 65, has been hospitalized for more than a month. Despite the illness, he covered the NBA Finals in June. And though the odds are stacked against him, the commentator known for his colorful attires, is living every day to the fullest.
“I like to gamble. I like to bet on horses, I like to bet on dogs, I like to bet on a lot of things. I’ve bet on a lot of things with a lot higher odds than this,” Sager told AP from his hospital bed.
Stay classy, Charles Barkley.