Sunday, June 15, 2008
Bavetta, who worked alleged fixed playoff game, refs Game 5
LOS ANGELES -- Dick Bavetta, the referee who worked one of the games Tim Donaghy alleged was rigged, officiated Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
Bavetta worked Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers used a huge free-throw advantage in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings and even a series they eventually won.
Donaghy, who has pleaded guilty to betting on games he officiated and taking cash payments from gamblers, alleged in a court filing this week that the NBA had two "company men" work that game and make calls that would help the Lakers win and set up a Game 7.
NBA commissioner David Stern later confirmed that the federal investigation into Donaghy included questions about Bavetta.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league did not consider pulling Bavetta, in his 33rd season as an NBA referee, off the game in light of this week's events. Bavetta has worked more than 20 NBA Finals games.
Scott Foster and Ken Mauer worked with Bavetta on Sunday, when the Boston Celtics hoped to clinch the series. Bavetta and Foster also were part of the Game 1 crew in Boston.