Here’s something that might help in NBA refs regaining some credibility: According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dick Bavetta might be ready to call it a career when he’s finished leaving his mark on games this season. In case you missed it, the infamous Tim Donaghy said working with the 69-year-old Bavetta was “like pursuing a graduate degree in advanced game manipulation” in a tell-all that the league is currently trying to keep from being published. If Donaghy thinks you blow at calling games, then you really, really suck.
Donaghy claimed Bavetta has been the driving force behind several of the NBA’s most controversial games in recent years, including a pair that extended the Lakers’ playoff lives in elimination games against the Blazers and Kings in 2000 and 2002. However, perhaps the greatest of Donaghy’s revelations about Bavetta comes here (excerpt courtesy of Deadspin):
“Bavetta actually paid an American Airlines employee to watch all the games he worked and write down everything the TV commentators said about him. No matter how late the game was over, he’d wake her up for a full report. He loved the attention.”
That, of course, doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Bavetta’s little display of stupidity and affection with fellow attention whore Charles Barkley at All-Star Weekend a few years back. Yeah, we see you guys…nobody cares.
Anyway, Bavetta calling it quits would certainly help. Can we get Steve Javie to hang ’em up next?