Richard "Dick" Bavetta
When Dick Bavetta retired from the ranks of NBA officials following the 2013-14 basketball season, he left behind a remarkable record for consistency. In 39 years of officiating basketball games at the highest level, the former Wall Street stockbroker never missed an assignment. The result was 2,635 straight games, the ironman record for professional sports. Bavetta began plying his trade in rec leagues, grade schools, the Eastern League, and at Rucker Park in Harlem, New York. The hard work and patience paid off as he gained the experience that made him attractive to NBA brass. In 1975 the St. Francis College and proud Power Memorial alumnus became a full-time NBA referee, and for the next four decades, he prided himself on making every game no matter what the obstacle. In 1992, Bavetta became the first NBA official to call a game in the Olympics. Bavetta blew the whistle in 27 NBA Finals games and more than 250 playoff games, further testimony to his consistency and professionalism.