Sunday, September 19th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  15 responses

Top-Tier Ref Plans A Comeback

Steve Javie, one of the NBA’s best officials, is giving it a go this coming season. Trust us, this is very good for the NBA and its fans.

Howard Beck reports on New York Times NBA Blog: “An envelope containing the N.B.A.’s referee schedule arrived in Steve Javie’s mailbox the other day, as it has every September for the last 25 years. This one felt different. ’It felt like Christmas Eve,’ Javie said gleefully. ‘I didn’t know if I would get one again.’ 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. Even Javie is unsure how long his comeback will last. He has no cartilage left in his knee, a result of 30 years of wear and tear. When he runs, ‘it’s bone on bone,’ he said. Javie could have reconstructive surgery, but it would require a year of recovery, and the prosthetics are not designed for the abuse of an N.B.A. schedule. 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.’”

We hope so, too.

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  • Waters

    One would hardly think how physically exhausting it is to be a ref. Even though they are not jumping and landing, they still do a good bit of running and constant stopping and starting. It will be interesting to see how long the knee can last.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Great news! He’s always seemed to do a solid job, and tried to let the game flow instead of domineering over it.
    Also ‘lol’ at the Jersey Shore part.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Waters- you also have to remember that the majority of officials are over 40 and physiologically they’re beginning to break down already. If you aren’t getting more athletic, you’re getting less.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    I wish there were more refs like Steve and less like Dick Bavetta and whoever was in Game 7 of the Finals

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to Jake O’Donnell.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Hes coming back when the player he hated most Allen Iverson is out of the league

  • http://www.solecollector.com NDP

    Javie is indeed one of the better refs — yes — but he still tries too much to inject himself into the game. The best referees are the ones you can’t name. And then you find out they’re 16-year vets.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    He must be on his GTL right now. Good luck to him.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    @Pardeep: probably about time to, you know, get over it.

  • The Lord of Nsam (formerly known as Fresh Prince)

    Ok so NBA refs get serious injuries 2, it realy is a tuff game and Dick Bavetta is Ironman!

  • http://twitter.com/pdxgaybball dma

    there was a time i wanted to be a ref. did a couple of middle school games and said eff this. the PARENTS ruined it for me.

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    its funny to me how every ref is “one of the best” when the league or whoever is talking about them. its never “oh him? eh hes ok”

  • ENDS

    as long as violet palmer doesnt come back im fine

  • Jumper

    does a ref HAVE to be ancient? Why not any refs under the age of 50? I’ve always wondered this.

  • den gower

    My favorite ref.