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A closer look at Game 6 refs

05.28.10 at 12:47 pm ET
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Game 6 official Ken Mauer is the uncle of baseball standout Joe Mauer and part of a big refereeing family. (AP)

Game 6 official Ken Mauer is the uncle of baseball standout Joe Mauer and part of a big refereeing family. (AP)

There seems to be a consensus that the referees assigned to Friday’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals will benefit the Celtics. Dale & Holley guest Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated called them liberal officials who will allow the C’s more room to bang Dwight Howard and the Magic down low.

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who served prison time for a gambling scandal, talked to Dennis & Callahan producer Steve Ciaccio Friday morning and, after being informed of the crew assigned to TD Garden, said: “Orlando should dust off their golf clubs.”

The Game 6 refs are Ken Mauer, Monty McCutchen and Mike Callahan.

Mauer is an interesting story. A former University of Minnesota All-Big Ten baseball player, he is the uncle of Twins standout catcher Joe Mauer. An NBA official since 1986, Mauer is the son of a longtime referee, and his four brothers all officiate at various levels as well. He refereed his first NBA finals in 2006.

A decade ago, Mauer was one of the referees accused of felony tax evasion for not reporting profit from downgraded airline tickets as income. Mauer was one of two refs — of the 45 charged — who did not accept a plea bargain, insisting he did not intentionally commit a crime. In April 2001, he was sentenced to five months in prison, five months home detention and three years of supervised released, along with 800 hours of community service.

Mike “Duke” Callahan is a graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School outside of Philadelphia. That’s also the alma mater of the disgraced Donaghy, as well as veteran official Joey Crawford, who called the technical foul on Rajon Rondo in Game 5 that drew a lot of criticism. Callahan was one of the officials when the C’s played in Portland two years ago and the Blazers had six players on the floor. The Blazers scored and were allowed to keep the two points, although a technical foul was called.

Monty McCutchen is a Texas native who taught high school history and English in Los Angeles before becoming an NBA official.

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