NBA Referee Tony Brown to Miss Rest of Season After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2021

Referee Tony Brown runs on the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The NBA announced Monday veteran referee Tony Brown would miss the remainder of the regular season and postseason after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

"Tony is a beloved member of the NBA family, and in particular, our officiating family," the NBA's senior vice president, referee development and training Monty McCutchen said in a statement. "In addition to exemplifying what it means to be a world class referee on the court, Tony also touches so many lives off the court. The NBA officiating family and the entire NBA family stand behind Tony with thoughts and prayers as he embarks upon this courageous battle." 

Brown has spent 19 years as an NBA referee, officiating 1,108 regular-season games and 35 postseason contests. He made his first NBA Finals appearance in 2020. 

"The entire NBA community stands behind Tony Brown and his family during this time," the official NBA Referees Twitter account tweeted. "We are lifting up Tony, Tina and his family in love, thoughts and prayers and will fight alongside him throughout this courageous battle."

Players and former players around the NBA expressed their support for Brown:

LeBron James @KingJames

Prayers sent to Tony and his family during these times!! 🙏🏾 #CancerGoToHell https://t.co/6bSOaSMciC

Richard Jefferson @Rjeff24

Prayers for our NBA family member Tony Brown https://t.co/wRLI5vq16Q

mario elie @marioelie1

Prayers go out to @NBA ref Tony Brown. Hope for a quick recovery.✊🏿🙏🏾💪🏿 #BeatCancer

Brown also worked for the NBA G League, the CBA and WNBA before making the move to the NBA.