New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NBA announced that veteran referee Dick Bavetta will be retiring after officiating for 39 years in 2,635 straight games.
Bavetta officiated his first ever game on December 2, 1975, at MSG in a game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.
He also officiated 270 playoff games including 27 finals games.
NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn stated, “Dick’s dedication and commitment to his craft has been an inspiration to all NBA officials.”
“We are grateful for his contributions to our league, and we wish him the best as he enjoys his well-earned retirement,” Thorn added.
Bavetta never missed an assigned game on his illustrious officiating career.
“I am most proud of never having missed an assigned game, be it exhibition, regular season or playoffs, throughout my entire career. It really has been a great run,” Bavetta said.
The 74-year-old expressed his gratitude for the league and the referee association.
“I would like to thank the NBA family and the National Basketball Referee Association for allowing me the honor and the privilege of representing them for 39 wonderful years.”
Bavetta also officiated three NBA All-Star Games in 1989, 1995 and 2006.
He was the first NBA referee selected to work in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Bavetta was also officiated at the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris, 1993 Mexico Challenge and 1990 Japan Games in Tokyo.
Before joining the NBA, Bavetta worked as an official for several basketball organizations.
This includes the Eastern League (CBA) for nine years, the Rucker League, FIBA, Jersey Shore Basketball League, and both the Public and Catholic High School leagues in New York City.
Bavetta is a member of the New York City Catholic High School Hall of Fame, the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and received the National ProAm Lifetime Achievement Award.
He also volunteers for charitable works and has his own charity called “The Bavetta Scholarships.”