Referees Earn Their Stripes for NBA Finals, First for Tony Brothers

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Referees Earn Their Stripes for NBA Finals, First for Tony Brothers
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
No 25 Tony Brothers

Much like 16 teams put forth their best efforts to get the chance to make the NBA Finals, so do the referees. In the first round, 36 referees earned their way into the playoffs (eight were crew chiefs with an additional four serving as only alternates).

Referees rated highly—based on call accuracy and game management, to name a few qualifiers—were selected to continue to the second round. In the second round, the number of referees decreased to 28 (seven crew chiefs). All alternates were referees that worked a minimum of one game.

Once four teams remained for the conference finals, only 18 referees were selected (five being crew chiefs). The remaining referees are the best ones remaining.

Barring any injury or suspension due to performance or disciplinary reasons, all conference finals referees are eligible to make the NBA Finals. Only 12 will (four crew chiefs and an additional two to serve as alternates).

What makes an NBA Finals-worthy referee?

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