LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ralph Lawler has announced his intention to retire as the television and radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers at the end of the season, which will be his 40th with the NBA team.
Lawler said Wednesday that it's important that he and his wife have a life after basketball. Lawler turns 81 next April.
He joined the then-San Diego Clippers in the team's first year in California in 1978, where he spent six years before the franchise relocated to Los Angeles. Lawler has called over 3,100 games.
Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer says he's looking forward to celebrating Lawler and his legacy during the upcoming season. Ballmer calls Lawler ''the heart and soul of the Clippers.''
Lawler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and three Emmy Awards. He first began calling games in high school in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois.
The Clippers will host Ralph Lawler Night on April 10, with his bobblehead being given away to fans.