Steve Javie Hanging Up His Whistle?
David Alrdrige caught up with one of the L’s most famous (and to some, infamous) refs, who says he may never work an NBA game again: “Ever since early December, Javie has not worked a game. And he may never work an NBA game again. Javie’s right knee is just about out of cartilage. Three days a week, he’s rehabbing near his Philadelphia-area home, trying to coax a couple more years of running up and down the court out of it. But it’s not getting any better. And if there isn’t any improvement by the summer, the 24-year veteran who’s done 18 Finals games and 190 playoff games will call it a career. ‘It’s tough,’ Javie said by telephone Friday; the league, which normally does not allow its referees to do interviews, made an exception, letting Javie talk about the last four-plus months he’s spent on the sidelines. ‘The regular season’s one thing, obviously,” Javie said. “With the rigors of the travel, by April, you’re kind of, ‘oh, my God.’ But the playoffs are always that rejuvenation. It is tough. I watched a game like (Thursday) night in Boston, and you see the fans going crazy, and you just wish you were there. You’re so used to that. And when Garnett throws that elbow up at Quentin Richardson (in Game 1 of the Celtics-Heat first-round series), you want to be in the mix.’ … An MRI determined that, like many players who’ve spent years running on hardwood, Javie’s knee was almost bone on bone, in arthritic condition. He saw specialists in Philadelphia and New York. He looked into cartilage replacement from cadavers, but that would mean eight to 10 months of rehab, and Javie is only going to do this for another year or two even if he gets back on the court next year. ‘There really isn’t much they can do,” he said. ‘There’s nothing you can do arthroscopically, of course, because there’s nothing to scope. And a couple of people suggested replacements of some sort. But once you have a replacement, whether it be partial or even a full one, they don’t recommend running on it to the rigors of our job. So if I ever got a replacement it would be like the end of the road for me.’”