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

by December 30, 2011
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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.”