Legendary NBA reporter Craig Sager was the recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPYs on Wednesday night.
Sager, who has been battling leukemia for two years, was recently told he only had 3-6 months to live after the cancer returned in May. Upon receiving his award from Vice President Joe Biden, Sager gave an incredible speech about what time truly means and how it changes when you are fighting cancer.
“What is time really? When you are diagnosed with a terminal disease like cancer or leukemia, your perception of time changes. When doctors tell you that you have three weeks to live, you try to live a lifetime of moments in three weeks. But you say ‘To hell with three weeks.” When doctors tell you that your only hope for survival is 14 straight days of intense chemotherapy, 24 hours a day, you sit there and you count down the 336 hours. You see, each day is a blessing. Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not an endless supply. Time is simply, how you live your life. I am not an expert on time, or on cancer, or on life itself. I’m a kid from the small Illinois town of Batavia, who grew up on the Chicago Cubs and made sports his life’s work. Although there has never been a day where it actually felt like work. I’ve run with the bulls in Pamplona. I’ve raced with Mario Andretti in Indianapolis. I have climbed the Great Wall of China. I have jumped out of aeroplanes over Kansas. I have wrestled gators in Florida. I have sailed the ocean with Ted Turner. I swam with the oceans in the Caribbean. And I have interviewed Gregg Popovich, mid-game, Spurs down seven. If I have learned anything through all of this, it is that each and every day is a canvas waiting to be painted, an opportunity for love, for fun, for living, for learning.”
Here’s the speech:
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