Dick Bavetta Rumors
“We will never, ever see another Dick Bavetta-type in the NBA again,” said longtime ref Danny Crawford. “A guy like Dick and a guy like Joey Crawford and Jake O’Donnell and Earl Strom, those guys had names. After that, I think we’re all pretty uniform and nobody knows who the hell you are. They don’t want us to bring attention to ourselves. Back then they could show that individuality. But after Dick and Joey Crawford, that era of guys who were well-known is over. All of us blend in from that point on.”
“Dick was a guy who was having a lot of fun on the court,” Danny Crawford said. “He’d get on an ice cream cart; he’d play around with the mascots. He was doing his job, but at the same time, he was having fun. So when I think of Dick Bavetta, I laugh. Just because of his attitude in the sport. They stopped [the hijinks] after a while, saying, ‘That’s just not professional.’ But when they allowed it, Dick back in the day was the bes
“I would always try to discuss with the players and the coaches, ‘Help me out here, anything you see in how I referee that can be improved upon?’ ” Bavetta said. “The thing that kept coming back to me was, ‘We find you very approachable. We can talk to you and that’s very important to us.’ That’s what I tried to carry throughout my career. I knew there was no way I was going to referee a game without missing calls. But I had no problem during a timeout or after looking at plays at halftime in going over to somebody and saying, ‘I owe you apology.’ When you show your vulnerability with regards to admitting a mistake, I think your acceptance becomes higher. Your credibility is greater. There’s a comfort level that’s established when people say, ‘I know if there’s a question about a play, I can come over to you and get an honest response.’ ”
Kentucky coach John Calipari and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo are among the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2015 class. The Hall of Fame announced its 2015 nominees Saturday. The Class of 2015 will be announced April 6. Calipari and Mutombo are joined by longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, three-time All-Star Kevin Johnson, three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, seven-time All-Star Jo Jo White, four-time All-Star Spencer Haywood, former NBA coach Bill Fitch and high school coaches Robert Hughes and Leta Andrews as finalists.
After 39 years as an NBA referee, Bavetta announced this week he’ll be retiring at age 74. Jazz fans will need to find someone else to upbraid. But they’ll never forget him. He’s the referee that waved off Jazz guard Howard Eisley’s 3-point basket in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against Chicago, ruling it was after the shot clock had expired. He later allowed Bulls’ guard Ron Harper’s 2-point basket to count, though that time the shot clock had expired in the fourth quarter of a tie game. Bavetta was also on the court when Michael Jordan bumped Bryon Russell before scoring the game-winning basket. Conspiracy wonks have been analyzing it ever since. So naturally you would think Jerry Sloan would be doing cartwheels. His officiating nemesis is history. “I thought he was a good ref,” the former Jazz coach said this week. “Anybody who can stay with something that long has to be good at what they do; those guys are hard to come by. He stood the test of time; it’s not an easy job.”