NBA referee Tony Brothers Credit: TNT Sports

There are plenty of NBA referees who hear about it from fans and players during the game when there’s a call they don’t like.

The media that covers the NBA, including those calling the games, have also stopped holding back when it comes to certain refs and the ways they call games.

That’s especially true for Tony Brothers. The longtime NBA ref has officiated over 1,700 regular season games, 186 playoff games, and 16 NBA Finals games, so he knows a thing or two about calling basketball games. However, he’s also developed a reputation, rightly or wrongly, for taking over games and making things about him.

That’s certainly what some members of the NBA were thinking Sunday night at certain moments during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

A week after Brothers pissed off Mavericks and Thunder fans for calls in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, he was doing the same on Sunday. After calling a technical foul on Minnesota’s Kyle Anderson, TNT Sports analyst Stan Van Gundy had to call out Brothers over the way he was taking over the game.

“Both ways, it looks like Tony Brothers wants a battle here tonight. And referees can never be like that. They’re supposed to de-escalate situations,” said Van Gundy. “There’s no talking to Tony Brothers tonight, guys…”

“I’m scared he’s gonna look over at you and I, coach,” added analyst Reggie Miller.

“I hope he didn’t hear that!” responded Van Gundy.

Meanwhile, ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins was a bit more succinct and straightforward with what he thought needed to happen.

“Man get Tony Brothers outta here man,” Perk posted on X. “This ain’t about YOU.”

You better believe there’s gonna be some strong opinions about Brothers during Monday morning’s debate shows, especially if he ends up doing something that impacts the outcome of the game.

[TNT Sports, Kendrick Perkins]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to