Los Angeles- Iconic Los Angeles’ Clippers Broadcaster Ralph Lawler is on his retirement tour. After 40 years of calling Clippers’ games, Lawler has decided to retire. “I’d rather quit a year too early than a year too late,” explained Lawler, 80, whose standards always ran high while doing radio and then TV play-by-play for the Clippers.
“I realized early on, back in the early ‘80s that I have no control over winning and losing, so why should I get too invested in winning and losing?” he said. “I invest 100 percent of my energy into the broadcast. We’d lose a ballgame and I’m going, `Man, we had a good show.’
“Look, I wish they’d won 10 championships. I wish they were the Boston Celtics, but I love the craft. I love to broadcast, the challenge of bringing a bad game to life and making it entertaining and informative. I have loved every single second. There was a year we won 12 and lost 70 and I loved every one of those 82 games.”
Lawler loved the thrill of being a broadcaster because he could dictate the storyline and give fans the inside scoop of what was going on. He had a way of connecting with his audience and make the best out of situations that were out of his hands with the many losses that the Clippers acquired of the years since he has been broadcasting.
However, there were some brief periods that bother Lawler to the point that it was an internal battle for him. The battle was between former owner Donald Sterling and his integrity. When the tapes came out about his former owner saying insensitive remarks about African Americans Lawler had to put his pride aside and read a statement that the organization put together.
“I felt sick,” Lawler said. “What he did was embarrassing. It hurt that I had represented this man for the previous 30 years. That’s a weekend that will live in infamy for me and the franchise.”
Despite all of the criticism about the Clippers’ organization, Lawler did not let it affect him nor his passion. A bright and skilled man is passing the torch down to other broadcasters, who will always remember the voice of the Clippers.