Skip to content

Ref Steve Javie oddly absent from the playoffs

Apr 22, 2010, 2:44 PM EDT

Officiating in the NBA is an impossible task, and referees who are able to earn respect are generally seen in one of two ways:

  • Opportunists whose mediocrity is rewarded by how many referees fail to do the impossible.

  •  Legitimately good at what they do, even if there’s a certain futility to it.

For Steve Javie, who is among the most respected referees in the league, the latter is far more appropriate. Yet a quick look into the playoff box scores reveals a shocking lack of Javie. It’s one thing for a younger official to be cycled out of the refereeing rotation come playoff time, but it’s largely assumed that come post-season, Javie will be there.

TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott sleuthed out the explanation for Javie’s disappearance:

What’s the deal? How could he be benched? I dug in, just certain there must be something fascinating going on.

I was quickly directed to this notification from the NBA: “The
following officials are unavailable due to medical reasons: Steve
Javie, Violet Palmer, Joe Forte, Olandis Poole and Mark Wunderlich.”

Javie, says a league spokesperson, has been out since December 2 with a leg injury, and will not be back this season.

So apparently it’s not a new development, but just one we’ve failed to pay attention to. With so many games happening on a nightly basis during the regular season, it’s easy to understand why refereeing assignments slip through the cracks.

So riddle me this: if a renowned NBA official gets a leg injury in the middle of the regular season and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?

Featured video

Woodson, D'Antoni's coaching futures
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (4344)
  2. D. Wade (4124)
  3. K. Love (3956)
  4. L. James (3495)
  5. G. Dragic (3401)
  1. C. Anthony (3330)
  2. S. Curry (3306)
  3. D. Howard (3242)
  4. R. Rondo (3053)
  5. D. Lee (2984)