Play-by-play man Ralph Lawler, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, has announced that he will retire after the 2018-19 NBA season.
“My wife Jo and I have grappled with this decision annually for 15 years. I now realize that I have spent half of my 80 years as a part of this team,” Lawler said. “The Clippers are a big part of my life’s DNA. Yet, it is important that we have some `life after basketball.’
“The current ownership and management team has been so supportive, and we are forever grateful for our years with the Clippers,” Lawler continued. “I cannot express how much I appreciate the fans. I am looking forward to thanking as many of them as possible in person during this final season.”
Lawler joined the then-San Diego Clippers in the team’s first year in California, 1978, where he spent six years before moving with the Clippers to Los Angeles. Since then he has called more than 3,100 games, according to the team.
“Ralph Lawler isn’t just the voice of the team, he has been the heart and soul of the Clippers,” team Chairman Steve Ballmer said. “…I’m looking forward to celebrating Ralph and his legacy, and want to sincerely thank him for everything that he has done for and meant to this team. His will be large shoes to fill.”
Lawler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Emmys, a Telly Award and has been inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.