Billy Crystal's next role will be a completely new experience, even for an actor with four decades' worth of credits. He's going to be an NBA broadcaster. At least for one game.
Crystal will join longtime Los Angeles Clippers play-by-play man Ralph Lawler to call the Jan. 31 game against the Lakers at Staples Center. Lawler is retiring at the end of the season after 40 years as the voice of the Clippers, and Crystal is one of many notable names joining Lawler on broadcasts to pay tribute.
Lawler said Crystal approached the team two months ago with the special request. Crystal has been a season-ticket holder since 1985 and the team's most recognizable fan through the good times and (many more) bad ones.
"They told me he really wants to do it," Lawler said Thursday before the Clippers played the Dallas Mavericks. "He has been a fan forever and he wants to take his time to pay his respects for my longtime service to the club."
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