Some sad news came out today, as longtime Clippers’ announcer Ralph Lawler, who is celebrating his 40th year as the main voice of the team, declared that the 2018-2019 season would be his last.
This is not unexpected. Ralph is going to be 80, and he’s noticeably gotten a bit slower in recent years. He wants to spend time with his family, and who can blame him?
Still, watching Clippers’ games without Ralph will be an incredibly weird experience for fans of the team, and fans should treasure every game call this season. The Clippers will honor Ralph with a “Ralph Lawler Night” the last home game of the season, which is April 10 against the Utah Jazz. The first 10,000 fans to enter the game will receive Lawler bobbleheads, and the evening will have special guests and features to celebrate Ralph’s career.
As for replacements... how can you replace Ralph Lawler? You really can’t, but the Clippers do have a nice heir-to-the-throne in the form of radio voice Brian Siemen, who has been rumored as Ralph’s replacement for years now.
This news is also odd in that the Clippers have not announced a partner for Ralph this season after Bruce Bowen was released earlier this summer. Interestingly, some of Ralph’s closest friends in the industry will be joining him as his partner throughout the season, with the headliner being old partner Bill Walton. If these guest appearances are frequent, it’s possible there is no “longterm” partner hire until next summer, with the rest of the non-guest games this summer being taken over by Don Maclean or Corey Maggette.
For Ralph’s full statement, as well as the Clippers’, check out the article on the Clippers’ home page here.