Los Angeles Clippers TV announcers Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith were excused from last night’s game against Denver after a season ticket holder complained to Fox Sports about the duo’s remarks concerning Grizzlies C Hamed Haddadi during a Wednesday contest with Memphis. For Lawler, this was the first Clippers telecast he’d missed in a quarter century, proving that while he might be a bigot, he’s certainly a masochist. The LA TImes’ Diane Pucin details Lawler and Smith’s comments from Wednesday ;

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA?” repeating Smith’s pronunciation of the word “Iranian.” (“EYE-ranian”)

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi — that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”

Lawler laughed and Smith continued, “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.”

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”

Season ticket holder Ayra Towfighi, vice president and assistant general counsel for Univision Communications Inc., in L.A., said his goal was not to demand any punishment for Lawler and Smith but to, he said, “Highlight the issue that a lot of folks wouldn’t consider saying such things about African Americans or Hispanics but because this was an Iranian player it just flowed more easily.”

In what Pucin describes as “a scheduling quirk”, the Clippers host Memphis a week from tomorrow and are offering fans a chance to meet and greet Haddadi as part of “Iran Heritage Day”. No word yet if the Clippers intend to give Lawler and Smith a crash course in cultural diversity, but perhaps the organization can obtain a discount on such services by having Donald Sterling attend the same classes.