NBA referee Bavetta retires

The Sports Xchange/Reuters

Posted at Aug 20 2014 11:29 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2014 07:29 PM

Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta is hanging up his whistle after 39 years.

The league announced the 74-year-old Bavetta's retirement on Tuesday. He worked his first NBA game on Dec. 2, 1975, in Madison Square Garden in New York.

The New York native will be best known for his streak of working 2,635 consecutive regular-season games. He never missed an assignment during his long career, which included 270 playoff games and 27 in the NBA Finals.

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DeMarcus Cousins puts the probability of playing in Team USA's exhibition game on Wednesday night at 50-50.

Cousins, the Sacramento Kings center who banged knees with Kenneth Faried in a Team USA practice last week and sat out Saturday's exhibition against Brazil in Chicago, was back at full speed on Tuesday in New York. Doctors found no structural damage in the knee.

Cousins is competing for a roster spot with Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons to back up New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis. Final cuts could come as early as Tuesday.

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sat out Tuesday's practice as a precaution. He is coming back from a torn meniscus suffered last season.

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New Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt added NBA head coaching experience to his staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Larry Drew.

Drew was let go after one season as coach in Milwaukee when Jason Kidd left the Brooklyn Nets for the Bucks, who were 15-67 under Drew in 2013-14.

Drew also coached Atlanta Hawks for three seasons before going to Milwaukee. The Hawks reached the playoffs in each of Drew's three years on the bench.

(Editing by Gene Cherry)