Dick Bavetta and The Raptor in 2006. (Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Andy Gray
Dick Bavetta, who refereed his first NBA game in 1975, celebrates his 73rd birthday on Monday. Here is a look back at the league's oldest ref in action.
Bavetta speaks with an angry Shaquille O'Neal during the 1995 Finals. (John W. McDonough/SI)
Bavetta speaks with Michael Jordan in 1998. (Vincent Laforet/ALLSPORT)
Bavetta tries to calm down an irate Matt Geiger during the 2001 NBA Finals. (AP/Rusty Kennedy)
Bavetta shares a tender moment with Tim Duncan
. (D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bavetta and Barkley compete to see who's faster at the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Bavetta is honored by the Nets
after reffing his 2,135th career game. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bavetta feels the wrath of Kobe during a 2009 Lakers
game. (AP/Mark Terrill)
Bavetta gets in the middle of the action during a tense moment in a Heat
game. (Doug Benc/Getty Images)
*****For more historic sports photos, NBA and otherwise, visit the SI Photo Blog and follow Andy Gray on Twitter.