When Dick Bavetta entered the NBA...

The NBA announced today the retirement of longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta, who officiated 2,635 regular season games during his his 39-year career in the league.

Bavetta made his debut on December 2, 1975 at the Madison Square Garden. What was the NBA and the world like when he entered the league?


Bob McAdoo of the Buffalo Braves was the reigning NBA MVP. Connie HawkinsJohn Havlicek, Nate Thurmond, Billy Cunningham and Jerry Sloan were still playing in the league during Dick Bavetta's rookie season.

Julius Erving led the New York Nets to the ABA championship. Bavetta's rookie year was the last one before the NBA-ABA merger.

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Larry O'Brien began his tenure as NBA commisioner. He would be replaced by a lawyer named David Stern nine years later.

Jaws was the biggest box-office hit of the year in the United States. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Laker fan Jack Nicholson was No. 3 and Warren Beatty's Shampoo No. 5.

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Gerald Ford was one year into his job as president of the United States. Ronald Reagan was challenging him for the Republican presidential nomination in the upcoming elections.

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Mao Zedong's China was the eighth largest economy in the world. USA's GDP was 10 times that of China's in 1975. China is now about to overtake the United States as the biggest economy.

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Microsoft had just been founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created Apple by the end of Dick Bavetta's rookie season.

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The men's 100 meters world record was 9.95. That's 0.37 seconds slower than Usain Bolt's current record.

Kevin Durant was 13 years away from being born. Dikembe Mutombo was a 9-year-old boy.

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The New York Knicks and the Chicago Cubs had only won two championships each. Oh well…

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