"Tony Brothers is one of those dudes you don't mess around with" - Austin Rivers on how players need to know which refs to stay clear off

brothers

The best officials do their jobs without fanfare and seemingly blend into the game. Unfortunately, not all referees can do that. Some get too involved and make questionable calls that can impact the outcome. Former NBA veteran Austin Rivers knows about this and recently shared which ref he steered clear of during his time in the NBA: Tony Brothers.

Doesn’t even bother Tony

Tony Brothers, a veteran NBA referee, is currently in his 29th year in the league. He has officiated numerous high-stakes games and is well-regarded by many players and coaches for his fair and consistent calls. However, as the son of Milwaukee head coach Doc Rivers revealed, Brothers is one of those refs that no player wants to mess with.

“I don't even waste my time with Tony Brothers. That guy will get you. I played the Pacers three years ago and got thrown out for missing Lance Stephenson, and I did like a fake elbow—I didn’t even elbow, I didn’t touch him. He reviewed it and still threw me out of the game,” the former Duke star shared on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Humans as they are, some refs, Rivers disclosed, get swayed by the emotions of the players and the fans. This can lead to questionable calls like a quick technical foul or, worse, sending a player to the showers early with a heat-of-the-moment ejection.

“There are certain refs that you have to know going into it that sometimes they get a little bit too involved in the show, in my opinion. And they start getting emotional with the crowd and can do stuff, and Tony is one of those guys,” Austin continued.

The former NBA guard turned sports analyst clarified his comments, saying he doesn’t believe Brothers is a lousy ref. However, he explained that the 59-year-old's emotional tendencies, such as getting swayed by the crowd's reactions, can turn the tide of a game in one team’s favor.

“I’m not saying he’s a bad ref, but you've got to know your people. Tony is one of the dudes you just don’t mess around with because he could end up, you know, fuc***g you over a little bit. That’s just what it’s gonna be. I’ve gotten tossed from games by Tony Brothers, and you know, I still think he’s a good ref overall, but he’s an emotional guy,” Rivers furthered.

Tried to hit on Teague’s mom

Rivers wasn’t the only former guard with a bad experience with Tony. Former NBA All-Star Jeff Teague also shared his weird interaction with the experienced official early in his career. The Wake Forest product said that his mother and aunt sat courtside to watch him play when Brothers approached him to ask about the women.

“Tony Brothers pulled me to the side and was like, ‘Who them h*es?’ I lost it. He was apologizing, and I was like, ‘N***a, that's my momma,’ I started to go crazy. And he like keeps apologizing,” Teague quipped.

Much like the players who make the NBA one of the greatest sports leagues in the world, the officials also play crucial roles. However, like the players, they have quirks and personalities that often shine through on the court.

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