HOLLYWOOD — Longtime Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 3, calling it “the greatest thrill of my professional life.”
“People say ‘It’s long overdue,’” Lawler said at the late-morning ceremony on Vine Street, near Hollywood Boulevard. “I’m not sure it’s even due. People say ‘You deserve it.’ I’m not sure I deserve it, but I’ll sure take it.”
The ceremony came in connection with Lawler’s 40th season as a basketball broadcaster.
Lawler has been the Clippers main play-by-play announcer for 37 of the past 38 seasons. He now announces all games televised by the Prime Ticket regional sports network.
Lawler can be heard on KFWB-AM (980) for the games not carried by Prime Ticket.
Lawler 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 in 1985.
“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’s other honors include three Los Angeles-area Emmys and a Telly Award.
Lawler 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).
Lawler 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 233 of 250 times since the 2012-13 regular season, 93.2 percent, including 48 of 50 times this season.