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The Feds Didn't Talk to Bernhardt, Either

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Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com sheds more light  on which referees were contacted by the league and the government in the post-Donaghy investigation of impropriety.

Sheridan quotes Hue Hollins (who revealed he'd been asked about Dick Bavetta  in this morning's New York Times) from an interview with "Outside the Lines," speaking more about the Bavetta questions. Sheridan also combines the other ref comments to date:

Another ex-referee, who spoke to ESPN.com on the condition he not be identified, said federal investigators asked him about specific games that Bavetta refereed and whether he had noticed anything peculiar about Bavetta's actions.

Former referee Mike Mathis told ESPN.com he had been questioned by the FBI but was not asked about Bavetta. Also, ex-referee Blaine Reichelt said he had not been contacted by any law enforcement authorities, and ex-referee Ted Bernhardt said he had only been questioned by NBA security officials.

A request by ESPN.com to interview Bavetta was denied Thursday by the NBA, as was a request to view the officials' postgame report from Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals -- a game Donaghy has alleged was refereed unfairly to ensure the Lakers and Kings would meet in a Game 7.

So the feds haven't talked to Bob Delaney, and they haven't talked to Ted Bernhardt. Yet they're asking former refs about Bavetta ... and the league's refusing to allow anyone to interview Bavetta. And they've singled out Game 6 clips for removal from YouTube.

What Bernhardt (who no longer works in the league) had to say to ESPN is interesting:

"I only talked to [former supervisor of officials] Ed Rush after the game, and I said I wasn't happy about it. He asked why, and I said I didn't feel we were very good."

"But I stand by my calls in that game. I was right on," Bernhardt said. "I believe in Dick Bavetta, and I believe in Bob Delaney, and I believe in the NBA for that matter."

He admitted after the game the crew had a bad night, but stands by his own calls. Which logically means he feels Bavetta and/or Bernhardt wasn't "very good."

I think everyone's on Bavetta Watch at this point. Something's odd about the way the NBA has handled him.