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Report: Referee Tony Brothers was disciplined over Spencer Dinwiddie accusation

Tony Brothers during an NBA game

Apr 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; NBA referee Tony Brothers reacts during the New Orleans Pelicans against the Phoenix Suns during game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie made a troubling accusation against NBA official Tony Brothers earlier this month, and it would appear the league quietly took disciplinary action against the veteran referee.

Dinwiddie was called for a technical foul during the Mavericks’ game against the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 4. After the tech, Dinwiddie says Brothers allegedly referred to him as a “bit-h a— motherf—er” to one of Dinwiddie’s teammates. Dinwiddie spoke about the incident during his postgame press conference (video here).

The NBA never announced formal discipline against Brothers, but reporter Marc Stein says the 58-year-old ref was forced to miss one of his game assignments. Brothers was not suspended without pay, which is why there was no official announcement.

It seems like the NBA was determined to keep the alleged exchange under wraps. The league also denied a request for a pool reporter to speak with the officials about the incident after the game. Their reason was that an official is only made available for a pool report if there are questions about a rules matter.

Brothers is in his 22nd season as an NBA referee. He has long been a subject of complaints for NBA players. Last season, he had a weak explanation for a tech called on Luka Doncic. Trae Young called out Brothers last season after a game. The year before that, Ja Morant did the same thing.


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