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NBA referees presumably do not enter the profession expecting to be liked. No matter how well they fulfill their duties, refs will receive copious criticism and insults over the course of every 48-minute game if for no other reason than that they're easy targets. At a certain point it must just become part of their experience of basketball.
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So, when longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta started his induction speech at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, he made a bizarre request of the audience. Dividing the seats into three sections, Bavetta had each participate in a chant of "Oh no, bad call, get a job!":
The longtime official apparently wasn't comfortable with all the compliments that attended his induction, but he seemed at home on the stage during a charming speech. It even ended with a poem:
The speech was so good that fellow inductee Tommy Heinsohn (previously enshrined as a player, this time as a coach) joked about Bavetta's sense of humor:
Congrats to Bavetta, who has now reached a level in the sport where people will indulge virtually any request, including the masochistic.
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