Fans and players alike feel like the NBA has been experiencing an officiating crisis in the past few seasons. Some calls have been questionable and it is making avid watchers of the sport slowly lose interest. However, some of them can be fun like referee Tony Brothers. This man is one of the most reliable NBA referees this season despite his age. He is even the subject of stories from countless stars, one of them is Jeff Teague back when he was still with the Atlanta Hawks.

NBA referees tend to have an intimidating aura and some players simply don't like that. Tony Brothers is different. He cracked jokes with stars and had some fun with them before games. However, he does have some issues and forgets to lock in his professional attitude at times. Jeff Teague had a firsthand experience with this as he had mixed feelings about the official, via the Club 52o podcast.

“One ref though, it's the motherf***** with the big a** eyebrows, Tony Brothers. Man, so n****was trying to be cool, I don't like him either, he was trying to be cool, and I was a youngin,” he described.

Jeff Teague then added the part when he started to loathe Tony Brothers a little bit more.

“We were playing at the Pacers, I was on the Hawks. My mama and my Aunt Nice were sitting courtside. And you know they had my jersey, you know they’re cheering and s*** every time I came in the game or whatever. I was young, probably my first, second year, maybe my second year. And he like pulled me to the side and he was like. man who them hoes,” Teague declared.

Expectedly, the NBA referee had offended Teague and was caught off guard by his remarks. Brothers saw this and immediately took action for his mistakes to Teague.

“I lost it. I went crazy. He was like apologizing, I was like n**** that's my mama. I'm going to start going crazy and he like kept apologizing. But if you know him, he be trying to be like cool,” the former Hawks player revealed.

Tony Brothers, a different breed of NBA referee

Jan 17, 2024; New York, New York, USA; referee Tony Brothers (25) gestures towards New York Knicks former player Carmelo Anthony (not pictured) as they talk during a stop in play during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is not the first and only time Brothers made a notable interaction with a player. Just weeks ago, he talked with Tyrese Haliburton before the NBA All-Star game. The NBA referee ended up making fun of the Indiana Pacers star's jump shot and mocked him. Haliburton took this lightly and laughed it off with the official.

Brothers is one of the most trusted officials in the league. He knows almost everyone that he was able to officiate in a game which is impressive given that his tenure in the NBA has already spanned 29 years. Yes, you heard that right He was there during the twilight of Michael Jordan's career, the start of Kobe Bryant's dominance, LeBron James' rise to stardom, and is witnessing the growth of Victor Wembanyama.

This attitude, despite being polarizing, netted him some recognition down the line as well. Brothers was voted as the best NBA referee in a 2023 player's survey.