Referee Dick (Knick) Bavetta Out to Pasture

Nick Bavetta, a well-known and highly respected referee, who officiated NBA games for 39 years, has called it quits at the age of 74.  Bavetta will be spending most of his time on his ranch in Ocala, Florida.  You might remember the 2000 Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Heat and the Knicks.  Bavetta was on the floor for game 7,  which was won by the Knicks 83-82.  In the closing moments, Clarence Witherspoon missed a shot for the Heat, and Latrell Sprewell came up with the rebound for the Knicks with 2.1 seconds left on the clock.  Sprewell proceeded to call a timeout while falling out of bounds.  After the game, Sprewell admitted to not having called a timeout which was granted to him by Bavetta.  The Knicks threw the ball inbounds and time ran out.  Tim Hardaway, a Heat guard at the time, told the press, “I see why they call Dick Bavetta “Knick” Bavetta.

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