Plaque Naming Staples Entrance for Clippers Announcer to be Unveiled
My News LA
By Debbie Sklar
April 5, 2016
A plaque naming Staples Center’s media and team member entrance for longtime Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler will be unveiled Tuesday.
The plaque will be outside of the entrance at Stairwell 18, west of the Staples Center box office.
“Ralph is a Los Angeles sports and broadcast legend and we feel this is an incredible way to honor and pay tribute to one of the best in the business,” Staples Center President Lee Zeidman said.
The Ralph Lawler Media and Team Member Entry will join the Chick Hearn Press Room, Bob Miller Press Box and Nick Nickson Broadcast Center as media- related locations within Staples Center named for longtime announcers affiliated with the arena’s teams.
The announcement of the naming of the entrance came Sunday as the Clippers held Ralph Lawler Day
Lawler has been the Clippers’ main play-by-play announcer for 37 of the past 38 seasons, calling more than 3,000 games. He now announces all games televised by the Prime Ticket regional sports network.
Lawler can be heard on KLAC-AM (570) or KEIB-AM (1150) for the games not carried by Prime Ticket.
He joined the Clippers in 1978 when they moved to San Diego from Buffalo, New York, where they were known as the Braves.
When the team moved to Los Angeles in 1984, Lawler remained in San Diego, managing a real estate office, but returned to the Clippers for the 1985- 86 season.
“I liked San Diego and was really settled there,” Lawler told the Los Angeles Times in a 1990 interview. “The move of the franchise was a real shock to those of us who were part of the program in San Diego, but looking back, I should have come up the first year.”
Lawler is a graduate of Bradley University in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois, and was inducted into its Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He is also a member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Lawler received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 3 in connection with his 40th season as a basketball broadcaster. Lawler’s other honors include three Los Angeles-area Emmys and a Telly Award.
He began his career in Riverside. His first announcing position with a professional team came with the San Diego Chargers in the early 1970s. He then moved to Philadelphia, where he was an announcer with the Phillies, 76ers and Flyers.
Lawler said his top NBA memories include broadcasting the NBA debuts of three of his favorite players, Julius Erving (with the 76ers in Philadelphia), Magic Johnson (against the Clippers in San Diego) and Blake Griffin (with the Clippers).
He has also announced college basketball, golf, tennis, track and field, auto racing, boxing, college football and indoor lacrosse.
Lawler is known for his enthusiasm and such expressions as “Bingo!” “Fasten your seat belts” and “Oh me, oh my,” along with “Lawler’s Law,” which says the team reaching 100 points first will win. It has proven to be correct 246 of 264 times since the start of the 2012-13 regular season, 93.2 percent, including 61 of 64 times this season.
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