Tonight is a special night for Clippers fans - longtime voice of the Clippers Ralph Lawler will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He won the Curt Gowdy Media Award, winning him a spot in the famed Springfield, Massachusetts building alongside NY Times reporter Marc Stein. It’s unclear if tonight’s ceremony will be broadcast live, but even if it’s not, the Clippers (and Ralph himself) will certainly have plenty of video and content for the momentous occasion.
Ralph, of course, called the Clippers for 40 years, through good times (relatively infrequent) and bad (unfortunately common). Along the way, Clippers fans fell in love with Ralph’s humble personality, the insights into his personal life (like his beautiful marriage to Sweet Jo), and his trademark catchphrases. His “Bingo!” and “Lawler’s Law” have made a permanent impression on NBA broadcasting, and will live on well past Lawler’s own career has ended. While it’s unfortunate that Ralph never got to see a Clippers championship, his career finished on a wonderful note with the triumphant, entertaining, and already beloved 2018-2019 Clippers squad, and the ascendancy of the organization this summer in free agency. Ralph will be succeeded by Brian Sieman, his longtime mentee, but will never not be missed on the broadcast call.
Not only is this a massive night for Ralph himself, who’s seeing decades of hard work paid off in the largest possible spotlight, but for the Clippers as a whole. The Clippers have not had a glorious past, and very few players (or people in general) affiliated with them have made it into the Hall. Ralph will be the first Hall of Fame inductee to represent the Clippers, and they could not ask for a better, more important one. Hopefully he will be the first of many Clippers Hall of Fame members to come.
Stay tuned for any announcement of live coverage, and keep your eyes tuned to the Clippers social media team, which will assuredly put out some great content for the occasion. Congratulations to Ralph!