Ralph Lawler enters final season as LA Clippers play-by-play announcer

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Ralph Lawler enters final season as LA Clippers play-by-play announcer

- First game of the year for the Clippers. Taking on the Sydney Kings in a matter of minutes. Mike Hill, Corey Maggette. And, of course, this man to our far left needs no introduction right here. He is the legend, the icon, the Clippers' voice for the last 40 years. Going into his 40th season--

- Yep.

- --the final season, Mr. Me, Oh My himself, Ralph Lawler. 40 seasons and you decided that this is going to be your last. Ralph, you look great. You sound great. Great health. Why is this going to be your last year.

- Well, I just kind of looked at the mathematics. I'm 80 years old. I spent 40 years, half my life, working for the Clippers. I've been in broadcasting for 60 years. So it just seemed like those numbers-- 41 doesn't ring quite as well as 40 years. Has a sense of finality to it. And I think it's the right time to do it, because my sweet Jo and I have a lot of things we want to do and places we want to go.

- Well, I will say, Ralph, it's a unbelievable career. And like I said, we're going to give you a nickname, Mr. 40. We tried to figure that out.

- Corey's always giving nicknames, Ralph, if--

- I got to give a nickname.

- --you haven't heard the show.

- But, Ralph, what was the most memorable moments for you out of these last 40 seasons being a broadcaster?

- Boy, I tell you, I've been asked that a lot. And I'm having difficulty coming up with a single answer, because there've been so many occasions, from the very beginning in 1978 in San Diego when the team was born. That was a big moment for me, because I'd always dreamed of just working for a ball club and doing NBA basketball full-time. That was my first chance to do so. The move to LA and so many big games that we've had.

The fans here in Hawaii, by the way, are absolutely--

COREY MAGGETTE: Yes.

RALPH LAWLER: --wonderful. Prime ticket booms in here, and a lot of Clipper fans here in the islands. It's really fun.

But the playoffs against San Antonio were-- we ousted them in the first round after they were the champion the year before. That may stand out as a single one. And you remember the game in Memphis, where Game 1 of the playoffs. And they're up by 24 in the fourth quarter. And I'm packing my bags and getting ready to go back to the hotel. And they said, wait a minute!

COREY MAGGETTE: Wait a minute, Ralph.

- And all of a sudden, they started knocking down 3-pointers and the Clippers won the dumb game.

COREY MAGGETTE: Yeah.

MIKE HILL: Yeah, some great moments, some not so great moments. Well, they never got to the Western Conference Finals. Wish you would have been able to call the Western Conference Finals or NBA Finals. Maybe they'll shock a lot of people this season here, Ralph. But what's the thing you're going to miss the most about not being with the team anymore?

- Well, camaraderie and travel, being around young people. Being an old guy like I am, being around--

COREY MAGGETTE: Oh, man, you're young. [INAUDIBLE].

- --guys in their 20s and 30s, it keeps us kind of contemporary, which a lot of people my age don't get a chance to do. So I'm going to miss that. I'm going to miss every part of it. I cannot imagine a year from now, assuming the Clippers come back to Hawaii, I'll be sitting up in Oregon going, wait a minute, where's my lei? Where's my-- so I'll miss you guys.