Dick Bavetta Refereed His 2,500th Consecutive Game Last Night

by December 30, 2011

Dick Bavetta, the NBA’s most famous (and consistently available) referee reached an amazing milestone in Orlando last night, as Peter Vecsey of the NY Post explains: “Because the NBA oddly avoids acknowledging anything affirmative regarding its referees, but takes the time at times to spotlight slip-ups, allow me to applaud Dick Bavetta for the following inconceivable achievement: Last night in Orlando, the 72-year-old (his birthday’s Dec. 10) whistleblower worked his 2,500th consecutive regular-season game. Ruminate on that statistic for a second. And now consider this unimaginable appendage: Bavetta hasn’t missed an assignment, excluding 300 in the playoffs (28 straight years) and another 300 exhibitions, since he joined the league in 1975 — and hasn’t once gone postal. We’re talking no sick days to mar his immaculate attendance record. No personal problems requiring a visit to the chaplain. No absence because of snowy flights or death-defying car rides. No ‘Bob Barker’s spayed and neutered dogs ate my homework.’ Thirty-seven years, 27 Finals appearances. Yet, the association offers zero public praise of the man’s work ethic. It’s a win-win situation for commissioner David Stern; glorifying one means glorifying all.”