Craig Sager has been involved with the NBA as a broadcaster for two decades, but a story he relays from 1993 is a new one to most basketball fans. Sager said he helped talk former star Dennis Rodman out of suicide, according to a new profile by Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins.
(Sager) should be perched on a barstool next to his wife, Stacy - a former Bulls dancer 21 years his junior - regaling strangers with a story about Dennis Rodman, who went AWOL from the Pistons in 1993 and planned to commit suicide, until Sager tracked down the Worm on the second floor of a Detroit strip club. "The Landing Strip," Sager recalls. "He had the gun. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be."
There was some reporting on this story at the time. In February 1993, while Rodman was a member of the Detroit Pistons, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year was located by police in the parking lot at the Palace of Auburn Hills with a loaded gun. He had earlier disappeared from the team, leaving a suicide note.
The SI feature is a comprehensive look at how Sager's place in the fabric of the NBA goes well beyond his colorful suits, even as he continues to battle acute myeloid leukemia. In March, he conceded that the overall prognosis for his illness is not good, but as his doctor has since added, "What he's done is almost miraculous."