As he enters his 40th season as the “Voice of the Clippers,” legendary broadcaster Ralph Lawler has announced his plan to retire after the 2018-19 NBA season. Over the course of his tenure, his commentary has captivated fans across the sports world, creating a legacy that will last far beyond his final 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. The Clippers are a big part of my life’s DNA,” said Lawler. “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, 80, 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, he has called more than 3,100 games. Lawler has distinguished himself as one of the broadcasting industry’s elite, as he is one of a very few announcers who has called games in each of the four major U.S. Sports Leagues: NFL (Chargers), MLB (Phillies), NHL (Flyers) and NBA (Clippers and 76ers).

“Ralph Lawler isn’t just the voice of the team, he has been the heart and soul of the Clippers,” said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer. “Ralph has lived every single moment with this team and been an essential connection between us and our fans, who rightfully adore him. We will treasure every moment with Ralph and his wife Jo this season, and miss him incredibly next year. I’m looking forward to celebrating Ralph and his legacy, and want to sincerely thank him for everything that he has done for and meant to this team. His will be large shoes to fill.”

Lawler’s commitment to his craft has been recognized with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Emmys, a Telly Award and inductions into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.