Longtime NBA referee Tony Brown, who spent 20 seasons in the league and was one of the league's most respected officials, passed away on Thursday after courageously battling pancreatic cancer.
He was 55 years old.
The NBA announced the awful news this afternoon.
“Tony Brown was one of the most accomplished referees in the NBA and an inspiration to his colleagues. After his pancreatic cancer diagnosis early last year, Tony fought courageously through countless rounds of treatment to return to work this past season at the NBA Replay Center, demonstrating the dedication, determination and passion that made him such a highly respected official for 20 years," commissionerAdam Silver said.
"The entire NBA family mourns Tony’s passing and we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Tina; their children, Bailey, Basile and Baylen; and his fellow referees.”
Brown, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2021, officiated 1,110 regular season games and 35 playoff games throughout his NBA career.
Tony's wife, Tina, released a statement thanking everyone for their support during this difficult time.
“We are and have been sustained by the consistent outpouring of love and support through this journey in developing strength, acceptance and peace," Tina wrote.
“We ask that you join us in that spirit as we prepare to celebrate Tony’s life. Our biggest thank you to our village of family and friends, near and far, old and new. Your love is immeasurable. Thanks to the Lustgarten Foundation and PanCan. Keep striving for the cures."