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Longtime Clippers Announcer Ralph Lawler To Retire

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Play-by-play man Ralph Lawler, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, announced Wednesday that he will retire after the 2018-19 NBA season.

"My wife Jo and I have grappled with this decision annually for 15 years. I now realize that I have spent half of my 80 years as a part of this team,'' Lawler said. "The Clippers are a big part of my life's DNA. Yet, it is important that we have some 'life after basketball.' The current ownership and management team has been so supportive, and we are forever grateful for our years with the Clippers. I cannot express how much I appreciate the fans. I am looking forward to thanking as many of them as possible in person during this final season."

Lawler joined the then-San Diego Clippers in the team's first year in California, 1978, where he spent six years before moving with the Clippers to Los Angeles. Since then he has called more than 3,100 games, according to the team.

The broadcaster has announced nearly every Clippers game -- both on TV and on radio -- since the franchise moved from Buffalo, New York.

Sportscaster Ralph Lawler gestures while addressing the audience at a ceremony for his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on March 3, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Lawler, who has been broadcasting games of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers for 37 years, received the 2,575th Star in the category of Radio. / AFP / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawler reached the 3,000-game milestone on Dec. 10, 2016 versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

Lawler was born in Ohio and raised in Peoria, Illinois.

Lawler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Emmys, a Telly Award and has been inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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