(NEW YORK) — Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta has been officiating games since the 1975 season. On Wednesday, Bavetta refereed his 2,633rd straight game when the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets, 110-81 at Madison Square Garden.
“It means that I am here and alive and happy,” said Bavetta, who was honored with a plaque prior to tip-off. “And it doesn’t end here as they say. After tonight there is another game.”
The 74-year old has also officiated 270 playoff games in his 29 consecutive seasons while also 27 NBA Finals games and three All-Star Games. In addition, Bavetta was the first NBA official selected to referee the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.
A member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, Bavetta has not missed a single assignment, working an average of 12 games per month and being required to make his own travel arrangements. Throughout his career, Bavetta has said there were many times where he had to drive through the night in harsh weather to keep the streak alive.
“The NBRA is in awe of what Dick has accomlished,” noted general counsel of the National Basketball Referees Association, Lee Seham. “During his streak, he has worked tirelessly on the court and made sacrifices off the court to never miss an NBA game assignment.”
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Jill Martin, CNN