Ironman NBA Referee Dick Bavetta Named Basketball Hall of Fame Finalist

UPDATED on 4/7/2015
On April 6, 2015, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that NBA referee Dick Bavetta will be enshrined on September 11, 2015, along with 10 inductees comprising the Class of 2015. To read more about the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 visit this link.

On Saturday, February 14, 2015, retired NBA referee Dick Bavetta was named a finalist for the Class of 2015 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The only NBA referee nominated for this year’s class, this honor recognizes Bavetta’s 39-year NBA career and commitment to the profession. Currently, there are only two NBA referees in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“The sport of basketball depends on its referees’ integrity, independence, and endurance. No one better exemplifies these qualities than Dick Bavetta, the ironman of the profession,” said Lee Seham, National Basketball Referees Association General Counsel. “He deserves a spot among the very best because he is one of the very best.”

Bavetta began his career as a NBA official in 1975. For 39 years, he brought passion, professionalism and expertise to the game. By the time he retired in August 2014, Bavetta officiated 2,635 regular season games, never missing an assigned game throughout his career. This unusual physical endurance and commitment was recognized on April 2, 2014, when Bavetta set the ironman record by officiating his 2,633rd consecutive game, surpassing Cal Ripken Jr.’s ironman streak.

During his 29 successive seasons as a NBA referee, Bavetta officiated 270 NBA Playoff games, including 27 NBA Finals games. He also officiated three NBA All-Star Games (1989, 1996 and 2006) and was the first NBA referee selected to officiate the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. A Brooklyn, New York, native, Bavetta is a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.

“The finalists for the Class of 2015 are a group of very distinguished individuals who have each made a unique impact on the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “To be recognized as a Finalist is a great achievement in and of itself, and each of the Finalists recognized today should be very proud.”

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be announced on Monday, April 6, at a press conference preceding the NCAA Men’s Championship game. Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Dick Bavetta and his contributions to professional basketball, visit

About the NBRA
Established in 1973, the National Basketball Referees Association represents the 63 active and 16 retired referees of the National Basketball Association. The referees of the NBA seek to advance the quality of sports officiating, athletics and sportsmanship of professional basketball.