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2011 NBA Finals: Game 1 Referee Assignments Announced

The Mavericks and Heat have learned their referees for Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals. Steve Javie, Mike Callahan and Bill Kennedy will call the game. Bill Spponer is the alternate.

This is a fairly nondescript group, but Javie has the potential to be a positive for the Mavericks, due to his reputation for his willingness to blow the whistle on the home team. In fact, none of the three are among the leaders in home teams’ records against the spread.

Javie also has a history with Pat Riley and the Heat. Back in 2003, Javie was fined for an altercation in 2002 with Riley in which Riley claimed that Javie taunted him as his team lost.

“It all started, I think, last year,” Riley said Dec. 13 after a loss to the Knicks. "I think I sort of sensed something changing last year when Steve Javie, in Cleveland — and to his delight, obviously, absolute delight, as we were getting beat, and going through a real tough time — came to my face, after we were having a discussion, and said, ’It’s giving us absolute delight to watch you and your team die.’ "

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.