At 82 years old, Ralph Lawler is coming out of retirement just to dunk on Charles Barkley.
The TNT analyst Barkley ripped the LA Clippers at halftime of their game Thursday against the Phoenix Suns. Barkley referred to them as pretenders rather than contenders and joked that “the Clippers have always sucked.”
Lawler, who was the voice of the Clippers for 41 seasons before retiring in 2019, tore into Barkley over the diss. Lawler wrote on Twitter that he was done sending Christmas cards to Barkley. He then clowned Sir Charles for having just as many NBA championships as the Clippers do.
Barkley is obviously known for some humorous and outspoken takes. But even if the Clippers have not made the conference finals in their franchise’s history, they have regularly put together 50-plus win seasons over the last decade. They are clearly no longer the cellar-dwellers that they used to be.
As for Lawler, this is just the latest example of his savagery on social media.
Blake Griffin is now officially a Brooklyn Net, but Ralph Lawler knows they will definitely not be getting the same player he knew from the LA Clippers.
The retired former Clippers announcer tweeted on Friday that it was nice to see Griffin and ex-Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan reunited in Brooklyn.
When a commenter responded that he was hoping for Griffin to be able to recover some of his athleticism in Brooklyn, Lawler savagely responded that he was similarly hoping to be able to grow a full head of hair.
The 82-year-old Lawler then made sure to clarify that he was not dissing the six-time All-Star Griffin.
Lawler retired in 2019 after a 41-year tenure as the voice of the Clippers. Thus, he assuredly has a lot of love for Griffin, who helped transform the team from a punchline into one of the most exciting and feared teams in the entire NBA. That said, it does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that Griffin, who has not had a single dunk all season, is now a shell of himself thanks to countless lower body injuries over the years.
But while Lawler’s joke about Griffin came from a friendly place, the same might not be true about Griffin’s relationship with others from the Clippers.
Next season will be the first in LA Clippers history without Ralph Lawler calling their games, but fortunately, his successor will be a familiar voice.
Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that the Clippers are close to finalizing a deal with Brian Sieman, who has been the team’s radio voice since 2007, to succeed Lawler as their television play-by-play voice. The Clippers will correspondingly hire Noah Eagle to replace Sieman on the radio.
Lawler himself seemed to confirm the news on Twitter, congratulating Sieman and calling him his “first and only choice” to take over the role.
The 81-year-old Lawler was a Clippers franchise icon, calling their games on television and radio for 40 years, even dating back to their time as the San Diego Clippers. He retired following the 2018-19 campaign and will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this September.
Sieman will certainly have some big shoes to fill next season, but hopefully he fares better against Southern California traffic than Lawler did.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ television announcers for Monday night’s game did not know enough about the history of their opponent, and the end result was them apologizing for an unfortunate on-air exchange.
Early in the first half of LA’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, a graphic was shown to remind viewers of the 1998 draft day trade that sent Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity from the Milwaukee Bucks to Dallas in exchange for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. The FOX Sports Prime Ticket duo of Ralph Lawler and Don MacLean joked that Traylor is now playing for the “Detroit YMCA over 40 league.”
The joke stemmed from the fact that the trade for Nowitzki was one of the most lopsided in NBA history, but the announcers clearly did not know Traylor tragically died of a heart attack several years ago at age 34. They later apologized during the broadcast.
Traylor was drafted No. 6 overall by the Mavericks in 1998. He was a star player at Michigan who was best known for his size, as he was 6-foot-8 and over 300 pounds. He played for four different teams over seven NBA seasons and never averaged more than 5.7 points per game. Nowitzki, of course, if a future Hall of Famer.
There’s a saying to describe guys who overachieved to land their girlfriends, and it’s called “outkicking your coverage.” It’s not too common in the regular world, but it’s a pretty normal thing in the athlete world where hot women are sometimes willing to sacrifice looks for guys who have money and status.
With that concept in mind, we’re not saying Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea is an unattractive man, but he certainly outkicked his coverage to land former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. Barea confirmed last year the two are dating, and they even have a child together.
The entire scenario was all too shocking for Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler, who was nothing short of stunned to learn of the development, even letting out a classic line “I’ll bet he enjoyed the All-Star break.”
We completely understand where you’re coming from, Ralph. On the court, Barea looks like a little squirt coming off the bench. But the guy is a good basketball player, and he’s treated like a celebrity in Puerto Rico, where both he and Rivera are from.
On behalf of Ralph, we’ll say this: Well done, J.J., well done.
If you’re unfamiliar with Southern California traffic, let this be your introduction. Clippers television play-by-play man Ralph Lawler missed the Clippers-Spurs game on Wednesday night because he was stuck in a massive traffic jam. Apparently Lawler commutes from La Quinta to Downtown Los Angeles for games, a 135-mile, two and a half hour drive each way.
Don’t ask why anyone would make such a commute (unless you’re Kobe Bryant and taking a helicopter to games), but Lawler got screwed in the day-long huge pileup on I-10. The freeway was jammed from 7am on because of separate accidents between Cabazon and Palm Springs that resulted in two fatalities.
Lawler has been broadcasting Clippers games for 31 years, dating back to their days in San Diego. Just his luck that he didn’t make it to the arena to see the Clippers beat the Spurs 90-85. That was the first win by the Clippers over the Spurs since March 7, 2006 — a span of 18 losses. The Clips now have just four wins on the season, but they’ve come against some of the league’s best teams — the Hornets, Thunder, Spurs and Kings. I guess you need a winning percentage of at least .800 to get the Clippers’ attention.