Referee apologist Steve Javie thinks technicals for taunting have stopped NBA fights

Sporting News

Steve Javie does not have very much in common with the average NBA viewer.

He loves rules. He loves referees. He does not love players showing emotion in rivalry games.

Javie, the TV officiating analyst for ABC, was an NBA ref for 25 years, so it's not surprising that he usually sides with officials on controversial decisions. His takes during Sunday afternoon's Lakers-Clippers game, though, were a step beyond his usual contributions and earned scorn from color commentator Jeff Van Gundy as well as fans at home.

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Javie claimed a series of questionable technical foul calls in the contest were warranted, and that there was no place for taunting of any kind in the game. He then said stringent policing of taunting had led to a decline in fights — a bold take with no evidence offered to back it up.

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Here's the technical foul call that caused the most backlash for being unnecessary, but that Javie defended:

Javie was panned on social media for his bias toward officiating. Few people, it appears, enjoy Dwight Schrute-esque adherence to law and order shoved down their throats.

The quick-trigger technical fouls, by the way, did little to quell the intensity of the game. They just provided an arbitrary annoyance to an otherwise fun, back-and-forth affair.

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