Former NBA referee Hollins dies

Former longtime NBA referee Hue Hollins died. He was believed to be 70.

Hollins' death was announced by the NBA Referees Association.

Hollins officiated 19 NBA Finals games and five All-Star games during his 27-year career.

He was a native of Waco, Texas.

"Hue reached the pinnacle of officiating through an unmatched dedication to perfecting his profession throughout his 27-year career as an NBA referee," NBRA general counsel Lee Seham said in a statement. "His hard work was always on display on the court, but never more evident than during his work in the NBA Finals, of which he worked every year during the 1990s. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

Hollins retired in 2003 and was outspoken in his criticism of the NBA during the Tim Donaghy betting scandal in 2007. Hollins was interviewed by the FBI in the probe of former referee Donaghy, who pleaded guilty to two felony charges for betting on games he was working.

Hollins was well-known for making a controversial call during the 1994 playoffs between the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. He called Chicago's Scottie Pippen for a shooting foul against New York's Hubert Davis in the last few seconds of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Davis made both free throws and the Knicks won the game by one point and eventually took the series.

Despite that, Hollins was still regarded as one of the top referees during the 1990s.

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