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.
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.
Here's the technical foul call that caused the most backlash for being unnecessary, but that Javie defended:
The NBA's soft for calling a tech on Avery Bradley for this pic.twitter.com/fFighAKMaL
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 8, 2020
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.
I'm sorry but Steve Javie is coming out here with propaganda claiming that there are no more fights in the NBA because they got rid of taunting. Get out of here.
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) March 8, 2020
STEVE JAVIE A COP
— Gus Limón (@HardcoreXPato) March 8, 2020
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.