Former NBA referee Steve Javie took part in ABC’s telecast of Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and gave his view on one of the long-standing perceptions of the league: superstars get too many calls. Simply put, Javie doesn’t believe that’s true. “I’d like to hear what Kobe Bryant and LeBron James say, if they get to the line enough,” Javie said to fellow ESPN commentators Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. “I’m sure they’d say they don’t get to the line enough. There’s one thing: we can’t keep notepads and sit there and say, ‘Well, this superstar has gotten this call, and we’ve gotta elevate this player to the superstar level.’ We just go out there and try to get the plays right.”
Steve Javie Rumors
Television viewers have long relied on broadcasters to provide analysis and explanations about the often-questionable decisions made by NBA referees. Steve Javie hopes to change that. The longtime NBA official, who retired before the start of this season due to an arthritic right knee after 25 years in the league, has been hired by ESPN as a rules analyst for pregame and postgame coverage of the NBA Finals, as well as SportsCenter
So Javie has been working hard to strengthen his quadriceps and hamstrings to take some pressure off the knee. He has undergone platelet-rich plasma therapy, which some doctors believe could help regenerate cartilage. Javie also recently began receiving viscous injections that simulate cartilage and provide some buffer between the bones. He hopes the injections “can buy me another year or two.” Javie began jogging again last week, for five minutes at a time, without pain or swelling. He has not yet tried to run full speed or for longer periods, however. “I have no idea how it’s going to react, obviously, when I do my first game,” he said.
Only a month ago, Javie was perched on the edge of retirement, unsure if his creaky right knee could endure another season of daily pounding. He missed nearly all of last season, including the playoffs. It appeared that the N.B.A. would lose one of its best officials. But a combination of treatments has given the knee some comfort and Javie some hope, and he plans to be back on the court, whistle at the ready, this fall. “I’m very cautious right now; I’m cautiously optimistic,” the 55-year-old Javie said by phone from the Jersey Shore, where he was vacationing with his family.