After 40 years calling the team’s games, Ralph Lawler will step away from the Los Angeles Clippers this season. The play-by-play man has been with the team since 1978 when they were still playing games in San Diego. Lawler handled TV play-by-play for the team most nights, but in recent years he also served as the radio play-by-play man on nights the Clippers were not on local TV in Los Angeles.
Lawler says that he has been considering retirement for a long time. “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. The Clippers are a big part of my life’s DNA.” His forty years of service made him one of the longest tenured broadcasters in the NBA.
Clippers owner, Steve Balmer, said “Ralph has lived every single moment with this team and been an essential connection between us and our fans, who rightfully adore him. We will treasure every moment with Ralph and his wife Jo this season, and miss him incredibly next year. 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.”
Speaking of celebrations and shoes, the team honored Lawler’s 40th year on the job last season with a promotion that saw 10,000 fans walk out of Staples Center with socks featuring Lawler’s face and his catchphrase “Oh Me, Oh My!” embroidered on them. The broadcaster will be honored again in the 2018-2019 season. On April 10, when the Clippers host the Jazz, it will be Ralph Lawler Night. 10,000 fans will receive a bobble-head likeness of Lawler.