Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager was not manning his usual place on the sideline for Tuesday night’s NBA season opener, while undergoing treatment for leukemia. But he was most definitely a presence, thanks to tributes throughout the league as the 2016-17 season tipped off.

That was especially true in Oakland, California as the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors played their opener against the San Antonio Spurs. Coming off a historic 73-win season while also debuting the NBA’s newest superteam with Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors and their fans could have noted those occasions for their first game of the season. Instead, the team gave out t-shirts with Sager’s likeness (nattily attired, of course) on the front for everyone in attendance at Oracle Arena.

#WarriorsGround is #SagerStrong 💪🏽

A photo posted by Golden State Warriors (@warriors) on

Warriors officials wore a different t-shirt honoring Sager, resembling a multi-colored jacket, shirt and tie that the famed broadcaster might favor as he worked the sidelines and filed reports for the TNT audience. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr wore one of the shirts during a pregame press conference.

The TNT crew also got in the spirit for their colleague. Reporter Kristen Ledlow sported a pair of Nike’s limited edition #SagerStrong Air Force 1s while she was on the scene in Oakland. 100 pairs of the shoes are being auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the SagerStrong Foundation.

The multi-colored Sager t-shirts, one of which was shown during the TNT broadcast by Kenny Smith, are also available for purchase to benefit the SagerStrong Foundation.

And with the Spurs in town to play the Warriors, Sager “nemesis” and San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich also paid tribute to Sager.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports, MLive.com, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.

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