Dick Bavetta

Basketball Referee
Born Dec 10, 1939

Richard T. "Dick" Bavetta is an American professional basketball referee for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since starting in 1975, he has never missed an assigned game. By the start of the 2006–07 NBA season, he had worked 2,164 regular season and 228 playoff games, including 24 NBA Finals games. He currently holds the league record for most officiated games. On December 29, 2011 he officiated his 2,500 consecutive game. He wears uniform number 27.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Dick Bavetta.

  • Tonight In Music: The Xx, Mecca Normal, Random, Alanis Morissette
    The Portland Mercury - Oct 07, 2012
  • Up & Coming
    The Portland Mercury - Oct 04, 2012
  • Together Again: Heat Knicks Rivalry Goes Back
    Huffington Post - Apr 27, 2012
  • Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade’s Girlfriend, Banned From Front Row Of Heat Games
    The Inquisitor - Apr 20, 2012


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Dick Bavetta.


1939 Birth Bavetta was born in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York on December 10, 1939. … Read More


1962 22 Years Old Bavetta attended Power Memorial Academy in New York City (the same school future NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attended) and is a 1962 graduate of St. Francis College in New York and played on the schools' basketball teams. … Read More


1975 35 Years Old 1 More Event
Bavetta was finally hired by the NBA in 1975 following the retirement of Mendy Rudolph.


1983 43 Years Old To improve his officiating, Bavetta refereed games for the New Jersey pro league and Rucker League in Harlem during the off-seasons and studied NBA rulebooks. In 1983, he became the first referee to undergo rigorous physical training. … Read More
1986 46 Years Old He was assigned to officiate his first playoff game in 1986. … Read More
1989 49 Years Old Bavetta had another altercation with Strom when Strom tried to choke Bavetta during halftime of an NBA game in 1989 for allegedly siding with the home crowd. … Read More


1990 50 Years Old From 1990 to 2000, Bavetta regularly refereed playoff games and was ranked at the top among referees in terms of performance evaluation. … Read More
1998 58 Years Old Among those playoff games included Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, in which Bavetta ruled that a three-point basket made by Howard Eisley of the Utah Jazz was released after the shot clock buzzer sounded and thus would not count. … Read More
1999 59 Years Old Bavetta's career was threatened when he was accidentally hit in the nose by Pacers forward Jalen Rose, who was trying to punch Knicks center Patrick Ewing during a 1999 game between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. … Read More


2006 66 Years Old 1 More Event
On February 8, 2006, Bavetta officiated his 2,135th NBA game, setting a league record for most games officiated that was previously held by Jake O'Donnell. … Read More
2007 67 Years Old During the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend, Bavetta raced Turner Network Television (TNT) studio analyst and former NBA player Charles Barkley for a $75,000 charitable donation ($50,000 contributed by the NBA and $25,000 by TNT) to the Las Vegas Boys & Girls Clubs of America, but lost by a narrow margin. … Read More
2008 68 Years Old The NBA has not permitted Bavetta to speak publicly regarding the incident, though The New York Times reported on June 12, 2008 that the FBI is investigating allegations that Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals had been manipulated to further the series to a seventh game. Even the television announcers commented on how obvious it was that the fix was in. In a 2002 article, Bill Simmons named the worst officiated games of the prior four years, alleging that the games involved either extending a series so it did not end quickly or advancing a large market team for the NBA's benefit. … Read More
2013 73 Years Old …  His game on April 12, 2013 in Washington was his 2,600th consecutive game as an NBA official.
2014 74 Years Old After 39 years of officiating in the NBA, Bavetta officially retired on August 19, 2014. … Read More
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