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Veteran NBA Official Tony Brown Passes Away

The association says goodbye to a good referee.

Memphis Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA referee Tony Brown has died at the age of 55, suffering from pancreatic cancer. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweeted the news today.

NBA veteran official Tony Brown passed away today following a hard-fought bout with cancer. He was one of the best running the sidelines and one cool brother. Rest In Peace.

Here is Brown’s biography from the National Basketball Referees Association website:

Tony Brown has officiated 1,016 regular-season games and 25 playoff games in 17 seasons as an NBA official. He also worked the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Prior to joining the NBA, he worked for four seasons in both the NBA G League and CBA and three seasons in the WNBA. During that time, he refereed the 2002 WNBA Finals, the 2002 WNBA All-Star Game and the 2001 CBA Finals.

Brown attended Florida A&M before transferring to Clark Atlanta University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Finance. In high school, Brown earned All-State basketball honors at Amos P. Godby in Tallahassee, Fla.

In 2021, Brown was interviewed for on his approach to fighting through cancer. He said:

“I haven’t had time to sit around and be like ‘Why me?’ or ‘What am I going to do?’” Brown said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Me not fighting would have made me feel like I was letting people down. What kind of example was I going to be to my kids if I just laid in this bed and let it overtake me? I had to show my kids that there’s nothing in life that you can’t challenge and overcome if you have a positive mindset.”

Blazer’s Edge offers condolences to Brown’s family and friends, and thanks for his years of service helping all of us enjoy the game.