Veteran NBA referee Tony Brown has died at 55 after a bout with Pancreatic Cancer. He is survived by his wife, Tina Brown, and three kids.
Tony was one of the game’s veteran officials. Throughout the 2019–20 season, he worked 1,110 regular and 35 playoff games before becoming an NBA Finals referee for the first time.
He was also one of the officials during the 2020 NBA Finals, where the Lakers defeated the Heat 4–2 to win the title.
Besides, Tony officiated championship-round games in the CBA and WNBA plus was a WNBA All-Star official before moving to the NBA in 2003.
Tony Brown Referee Wife Tina Kids And Family
Tony Brown was surrounded by his family members when he passed away. He lived with his wife, Tina Brown, and three children: Bailey, Basile, and Baylen, in Atlanta.
Responding to her husband’s death, Tina thanked everyone for their consistent outpouring of love and support and asked everyone to join in the celebration of Tony’s life.
Mrs. Brown also thanked the Lustgarten Foundation and PanCan for their help in his health and the NBRA and NBA family for their unmatched generosity.
Lastly, she expressed gratitude to the Emory/Bridgeway Hospice Unit for their compassion and care during treatment of Tony.
Tony graduated from Clark Atlanta University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Instead of flowers, the Brown family encourages donations to the Tony and Tina Brown Basketball Program Endowment at the University.
A talented high school basketball player, Tony accepted a scholarship to Florida A&M and eventually decided to transfer to Clark Atlanta University even though he received no scholarship.
Tony worked his way through school as a staff of Delta Air Lines, where he cleaned planes, drove passenger carts, then became a flight attendant. He retired in 2007 and pursued a career in NBA.
Pancreatic Cancer was the cause of Toby Brown’s death.
Tony Brown passed away today in the presence of his family, friends, and fellow officials. The 55-year-old was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last year. The league announced the sad news on Thursday.
His Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis was made at the start of 2021 after experiencing some stomach discomfort. He had rested for eight months and recovered after over a dozen rounds of intense chemotherapy.
Tony got better to the point where he could return to work in the NBA replay center in late November. However, he entered hospice care in Atlanta in recent days.
Lakers star LeBron James, who has worked alongside the referee multiple times, shared a few memories of his time with Tony.
“R.I.P. Tony, man!!” James tweeted. “Great ref but greater, dude! Loved when I ran on the court for warmups, and he would be on the game that night! Your smile & laugh will be missed tremendously here in our sport!”
Tony had also worked during the 2020 NBA Finals when LeBron’s team Los Angeles Lakers, took down Miami Heat 4–2 to win the title.
Likewise, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver paid homage to Tony’s refereeing career. He expressed respect for the dedication, determination, passion, and courage he fought Cancer. Adam also condolences to his wife and children on behalf of the entire NBA family.
During his career, Tony officiated 1,110 regular-season games and 35 playoff games, and the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.