OKLAHOMA CITY — Longtime
"I positively don't want to get thrown out with the dishwater, so to speak," Lawler told The Times before Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals at
Lawler, who recently turned 76, said he had been "terribly depressed" and had difficulty eating after disparaging remarks about blacks attributed to Sterling were made public in a recording released last month.
Sterling received a lifetime ban and a $2.5-million fine and faces a vote by fellow
Lawler, whose first season with the team in 1978 predated Sterling's arrival, said he did not feel as though he worked for the Sterlings.
"I feel I've always represented the fans of this ballclub," Lawler said. "They've been my employer as far as I was concerned."
Lawler acknowledged that he has been contemplating retirement for a few years. He thought of leaving last summer but figured he would stay on for another season after the Clippers hired
"I don't want to be tainted by anything because I'm proud of my body of work and I've taken a great deal of pride in it," Lawler said. "I've loved it and I've loved this team and [the controversy] just really hurt. I thought, 'Oh, my God, all these years for nothing.'"