You cannot stop Craig Sager’s stylish suits. You can only hope to contain them.
The new NBA season is in full bloom -- and so is the orchard-like wardrobe of TNT's NBA sideline reporter, the indomitable Sager.
The play on the court has been unusually dynamic in the young NBA season: The Battle of Los Angeles, courtesy of the Lakers and Clippers, this ultra-nasty dunk over Lebron James. But Sager’s suits have been in rare, midseason form already.
This season, Sager's flamboyance has reached new heights. Take his outfit from Wednesday night's Lakers game. What other person can show up to a sporting event -- for work, mind you -- and have his wardrobe become game fodder, debated, lauded and praised, as if it were a coaching strategy on the court? Not to mention that the Lakers won the game (was it the tie?).
Craig Sager's tie is a thing tonight, BTW pic.twitter.com/dABVlFPJZH
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) October 30, 2013
Sager now stands alone in a brash, hybrid fashion-sports world that affords sports-watchers unfettered front row seats to his colorful dominion -- and what a show!
He’s got some colorful nicknames, too. "Sags," says at least one game announcer. "Sagervision," says TNT’s Kenny Smith.
But not everybody's a fan of the shiny suits. "Burn it," says Kevin Garnett in an immortal Youtube video. It's true that sometimes, Sager's vision can be a little off (the radiance of the suit colors, I'm sure). He’s fought the war of the roses -- and lost a few times. So what? Lavender pants. Purple alligator shoes. Easter Sunday? A sharp dressed man is attentive to neither the day nor time.
His consistency is legendary around the NBA. The intricate hue-harmony of the suit, the socks and the tie -- and fashion triple-double -- is something that he has done all year.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 3, 2013
Are we drinking the Kool-Aid? Sager’s wearing the Kool-Aid: Wild cherry. I’m not playing.
Sager is an artist and an American sports institution, the Bob Ross of the NBA, but instead of painting our drab surroundings with "happy trees," he adds Technicolor to our TV.
But when did this proud-as-peacock walk down the fashion hall of fame start? In 1974 at an interview to become a meteorologist for a TV station in Tampa, Florida, Sager told USA Today earlier this year.
"I wore a blue, white and yellow suit I got from Goodwill," Sager told the newspaper. "I got the job but they said I couldn't wear that [on the air] because their cameras couldn't focus on it. Of course, camera technology is much better today."
The rest, as they say, is fashion and sports history.
And speaking of history, in what has become baseball lore, Sager has been identified as the “mysterious fan" dressed in a cape-like getup that trotted with Hank Aaron from third base in 1974. Even then, on Major League Baseball's -- and American sports' -- biggest stage, Sager stood out.
Sagervision always did.
For more on Sager, check out this awesome style breakdown by Bleacher Report's Lance Fresh, and this awesome video below.