Monday, June 11th, 2012 at 12:00 pm  |  20 responses

Retired Ref Steve Javie to Provide TV Commentary During the NBA Finals

Legendary referee Steve Javie – who retired last year, and who may or may not hate the Miami Heat – will work the NBA Finals for ABC/ESPN. SI has the details: “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. Javie hopes to follow in the footsteps of Mike Pereira, the former NFL vice president of officiating who has been sensational for Fox Sports in helping viewers understand the NFL’s byzantine rule book. Javie said Pereira’s success inspired him to pitch ESPN on a similar position months ago. Last week, Laurie Orlando, ESPN’s senior vice president of talent planning and development, reached out to Javie to do a segment on SportsCenter on the officiating of the Heat-Celtics series. Network officials were pleased with what they saw and have now invited him to work the NBA Finals. ‘Mike and I are friends and I think what he’s done has been fantastic,’ Javie said. ‘He’s been the trailblazer here and he told me he thought the NBA, ESPN or TNT would be interested in something like this. I think Mike has really gained credibility for officials in the NFL, but fans of the NBA have never heard from or been given the perspective from the officials’ point of view. I’m hoping for positive feedback because I believe it’s something that’s been missing. I hope people come away and say, ‘Boy, I didn’t even look at it that way, and I never knew that.’ Asked whether he could criticize his former NBA colleagues, Javie offered a nuanced take. ‘One thing officials do all time is critique each other as a crew when we are watching film after a game,’ he said. ‘You have to be open, honest and objective. The first thing I tell young referees is if you are not objective enough to admit your mistakes, you are not growing in the profession. The key is why did I blow the whistle or not blow the whistle, and I think I’ll be able to offer that perspective. I can probably show you the reason nine times out of 10 why an official missed the play, whether it was because of the angle or the positioning they were in. People need to know how they could miss something. Now I’m not going to be a jerk about it because these are my guys. But I want to be the voice of the official and tell people, ‘Look at this play. Maybe you should have had a whistle here, but here is the reason why they didn’t blow it.’ I won’t be a guy who blasts the officials but at the same time I will be someone who points out to fans that the ref did not get a call right and here’s why. It’s not necessarily a criticism but an explanation on why a call was missed.’”

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  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    The only two tandems that should call these games are Hubie/Mike and JVG/Breen. These are the only people worthy enough to call this epic finals.

  • http://slamonline.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Kevin and Reggie baby!!!

  • ClydeSays

    Could be interesting. Why isn’t Bavetta retired? He’s SEVENTY TWO! I doubt his eyes and legs are 100%…

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    javie used to give those quick Ts

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    I think it’s about time a ref did this. Who wouldn’t be interested in what they have to say? They’re basketball fundamentalists. Just like it was about time I got my genital warts taken care of. My G-Dubs are killing my love life!

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    I HATE Mike Breen. Refs are funny. When they’re in studio, they’ll tell you what should and shouldn’t have been called to the letter of the law. But when they are actually reffing they’ll watch someone take 3 steps and not call anything.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I wonder if he’d be apologetic for an official’s missed call, or critical in a “Bill Walton I coulda done a better job” kind of way.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Many many people HATE Mike Breen. I don’t find him in anyway informational or interesting, but I certainly don’t HATE him like everyone else.
    Sounds crazy, but Hubie/JVG…. Would be awesome. Pure basketball joy.
    The person impersonating Caboose actually gave me a little laugh with the G-Dubs comment. But that’s played out now…

  • bike

    Might be a great idea considering how controversial the officiating has been this post season.

  • B.C.


  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Lol @ Fake caboose

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Maybe HATE is strong, but to me, he doesn’t add anything to the broadcast and he always seems to take the NBA stance. Its like he doesn’t think for himself. I used to love he’s criticize a player and Mark Jax or JVG would call him out like “you never played, you don’t know what its like.”

  • tpathi1

    its like this comment section has actually been read by NBA personell, this is exactly what i wanted to from the NBA and asked for it a bunch of times! Way to go NBA, finally put these refs under some sort of accountability. @clydesays Bavetta was the one reffing the game when Jordan hit that shot over Craig Ehlo in the playoffs, he looked as old as he does now back then! He only refs cause he can, old people are senile and predictable for the most part, he probably loves the “fame.” Its a lose lose situation, the NBA can’t fire him cause of the union these refs are under and its almost like you can’t take this away from him because he probably will die without bball in his life. smh

  • tpathi1

    Mark Jackson was the worst commentator of all time. Anyone who says on air that Kobe Bryant “WILL Go down as the greatest of all time” is an idiot..JVG even asked him that nonsensical human in Mark Jackson if he would even go down better than Jordan and Mark Jacksons response “mark my words, Kobe Bean Bryant WILL go down as the best ever!” Ever since that day, Mark Jackson sought out to be the worst commentator in the history of NBA basketball, and every day he came that much closer. I hope he never comes back to commentating!

  • tpathi1

    isn’t Javie the ref that Nick Van Exel attacked 4 a blown call back in the day?yeah thats who i want providing commentary during the finals alright!Dang gone crooked refs!!!

  • markymark

    There goes the rest of (if there’s any left at all) espn’s credibility! Javie’s one of those bastards who has ruined countless games, including fckin philly’s chances to go up 2-0 in the 01 finals. Donaghy himself confirmed this, saying Javie hated Iverson. So isn’t it a coincidence that they assigned him to game 2 just after AI sh*tted on their pet’s faces?

  • logues

    JVG is awesome, but mike breen is kinda annoying.. everytime someone does a nice play he does his little “uh ho!!” thing haha and hubie is annoying as well.. starts just about every he says with “now, ya see”. bring back marv albert!!!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    logues, Hubie may be ( okay is ) annoying, but he is actually insightful and has something “new” to say in general.
    To each his own though.

  • http://Somethingsomething. Ugh

    !tpathi1 – You think this is going to lead to ‘accountability’? This is going to be one of the most notorious referees acting as referee apologist during a very high rating Finals series. Yeah, like he’s going to hold anyone’s feet to the fire for allowing a five step travel on the fast break.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Maybe he’ll give us the inside scoop on how Tim Donaghy beat the Suns in the Western Conference Finals.