Referee Steve Javie is Retiring from the NBA

by September 16, 2011

The news isn’t exactly shocking. Steve Javie, one of the NBA’s most famous (and infamous) refs ever, is walking away from the job due to a bad knee. ESPN reports: “Javie, rated as one of the league’s top officials during the past 15 years, is retiring because of an arthritic right knee. The injury forced him to miss the end of the 2009-2010 season, but he returned last fall with the hope of making it to the 25-year mark as an NBA referee. He accomplished that, but filed his retirement papers when the pain in his right knee and his doctors convinced him a 26th year was not realistic … Javie worked both Games 1 and 6 of the 2011 Finals, making him one of six referees to officiate two games. It is an honor reserved for the league’s highest-rated referees and reflects that Javie is going out on top. ‘I would like to stay at it and end it on my own terms, but in a way I feel as if I’m doing that in that I got to work that 25th year,’ he said. ‘Adrenaline is an amazing drug. The two weeks after the season, the knee was so painful I couldn’t believe it. My doctor said it was because the adrenaline from the season had finally worn off. Every time I start to think maybe I still could do it, my knee has let me know, one way or another, that I can’t.’ Javie’s father, Stan, was an NFL field judge and back judge for 29 years and counseled his son that it was better to leave while your work is still respected ‘than to be one of those guys that hangs on and everybody says it’s a shame he’s still working, and we have some of those,’ Javie said.”