NBA Referee Tony Brown Dies at 55

Tony Brown a longtime NBA official lost his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer today. He was surrounded by his family, friends and fellow officials. He was 55.

Tony’s wife Tina Brown has remarked that the couple has been “nourished” by the outpouring of love and support they’ve received along their path toward strength, acceptance and peace.

In that spirit, we invite you to join us as we prepare to honor Tony’s life. We owe so much to the community of loved ones we’ve built around us, both old and new and close by and far away. Your devotion to me is unfathomable. Support from the Lustgarten Foundation and PanCan is greatly appreciated.

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Don’t give up on finding solutions. Sincere appreciation to everyone in the NBRA and NBA for their boundless kindness. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone in the Emory/Bridgeway Hospice Unit. It’s hard to find words to describe how much you cared. We will be eternally grateful to you!”

NBA Referee Tony Brown
NBA Referee Tony Brown

Tony Brown “was one of the most outstanding referees in the NBA and an inspiration to his colleagues,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Tony’s devotion, tenacity and enthusiasm made him such a highly respected official for 20 years and he showed all of those qualities after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early last year and returning to work this past season at the NBA Replay Center.

We at the NBA would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Tony’s family, including his wife Tina their daughters Bailey, Basile and Baylen and all of the NBA officials who mourned his passing.

Over the course of his 20 seasons on the NBA’s officiating staff, Brown worked 1,110 regular season games and 35 postseason contests. In the 2019-20 season, he was a new referee at the NBA Finals. Brown, a graduate of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Clark Atlanta University, worked the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, which paid tribute to HBCUs.

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