In 1995, referee Jake O’Donnell announced his retirement after officiating more than 2,134 regular-season games from 1967 to 1995. O’Donnell officiated 279 playoff games and 39 NBA Finals games during his 28 seasons in the league. He was known for being an even-handed referee who was not swayed by home crowds.
Despite his even temper, the final game O’Donnell officiated ended in controversy. During Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals, he ejected Clyde Drexler of the Houston Rockets for two technical fouls. Fans allege there was a personal feud between the player and referee which led to Drexler’s ejection. O’Donnell did not referee the following 1995 NBA Finals games, breaking a 23 game streak. He also served as an umpire for Major League Baseball and is the only person to officiate both NBA and MLB All-Star games.