Report: NBA Kept Referee Tony Brothers’ One Game Suspension Confidential

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

An NBA game official was allegedly suspended for one game earlier this month, and the National Basketball Association decided not to make the news public, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein. The Insider said that referee Tony Brothers was suspended for one game after officiating the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors. During a postgame conference, Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie alleged that Brothers called him a “b—h ass motherf—–.”

Dinwiddie went on to explain the events which led up to the alleged verbal altercation between the two parties. The guard said that the incident occurred during the second quarter of the game, and that he became irate when he was called for a foul moments prior. “That wasn’t a f–king take foul,” Dinwiddie said he told Brothers. The official fired words back at him, while within earshot of Dinwiddie’s teammates. The guard went on to issue an apology directly to Brothers for his role in the incident.

“I apologize to Tony Brothers for what seemed to keep him irate, which was a clap. He thought it was disrespectful. If you watch the games, and I know that’s what refs are supposed to do, you see I clap to get the attention of my teammates, things of that nature, but it was nothing personal, so as a man, I would like to say I’m sorry first and foremost. And secondarily I would like to say, not only would I like my [fine] money back, but I would like to not be called a b—h ass motherf–ker to my teammates.”

Stein says the reason the NBA declined to announce the discipline of Brothers was due to the suspension not being formal. Brothers has been an NBA official since 1994, making him one of the oldest and longest tenured senior officials in the league today. Brothers has officiated 1,626 regular-season games in 28 seasons as an NBA staff official. He has also refereed 174 playoff games, including 15 NBA Finals games.

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