Clippers say broadcaster Ralph Lawler slurred words because of flu

Longtime Clippers play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler had mumbled and slurred speech as he called the game against the Lakers on Wednesday, raising speculation and concern.

The Clippers tweeted that Lawler just had the flu.


"Fans, thanks for your concern Ralph Lawler (@ohmeomy) was fighting the flu tonight, he will be rested and ready for Saturday."

Lawler, 76, has been the team's broadcaster for 36 seasons. When he had prostate cancer in 2006, he postponed surgery until after the season so he wouldn't miss any games. He had only missed two games until early December, when he had surgery to dissolve a kidney stone.

"Doctors say it's the closest thing a man can experience to childbirth, the pain of passing a kidney stone," Lawler told The Times in December. "It is not a good experience."

After the Clippers beat the Lakers on Wednesday, Lawler tweeted that he was OK.

"Thanks for everyone's concern," he tweeted. "I am fine. See you Saturday."

Clippers reserve Jamal Crawford, however, urged his followers to send well-wishes to the broadcaster.

Tweeted Crawford: "Keep Ralph Lawler in your prayers."