NBA
February 27, 2019

Clippers broadcast jokes that Robert "Tractor" Traylor is playing in Over-40 YMCA league, forgets that Traylor's been dead since 2011

Dallas Mavericks v LA Clippers

Adam Pantozzi

The Los Angeles Clippers are no longer the laughingstock of the NBA. Racist slumlord Donald Sterling is long gone, as are the talented-but-troubled trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. There's possibly a new arena on the horizon, and the team has a truckload of assets and cap space heading into one of the most prized free agencies in league history.

But, at their heart, they are still the Clippers. And, as this video shows, Clips gonna Clip.

For those without sound, Los Angeles broadcasters Ralph Lawler and Don MacLean are discussing Dirk Nowitzki and the 1998 NBA Draft trade that sent Dirk to Dallas for Robert "Tractor" Traylor. Mainly, that no one saw Nowitzki turning into such a transformative force. Leading to the following exchange.

MacLean: I guess Milwaukee didn’t see it either, they drafted [Nowitzki] and then traded him to Dallas draft day, for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Who’s he playing for now?

Lawler: The, uh, Detroit YMCA over-40 league.

Hilarious, right! Except that Traylor died of a heart attack playing basketball in 2011.

It didn't take long for someone to inform the crew of their massive faux pas. But their mea culpa wasn't, um, smooth sailing, either:

Lawler: We made light earlier that [Nowitzki] was traded from Milwaukee to Dallas in exchange for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. I was wondering what Robert “Tractor” Traylor was doing today—totally slipping my mind and I guess Don’s mind that he passed away a couple of years ago. So, may he rest in peace and our apologies.

MacLean: Yeah, apologies. I didn’t realize that.

Not sure what's worse: the joke or that MacLean didn't realize that poor guy had passed eight years ago. Either way, good to see there's a real-life version of Dick Pepperfield and Lou Redwood in the league.

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