The Top 4 NBA Referees of All Time

By Peter C October 3, 2023

The NBA is arguably one of the most loved sports, not only because of the talented players who have graced the sport but also because of the involvement of experienced referees. These officials ensure that basketball rules are followed during a game. So, it’s safe to say that most matches would end in chaos without them. In the article, we’ll talk about the top 5 NBA referees in the sport’s history.

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1. Ken Mauer

Mauer’s contribution to the sport can’t be overlooked since he started his NBA officiating career in 1986. He has refereed a total of 1,935 regular-season games, including 218 playoff games and 19 final games, making him the longest-serving referee among those currently officiating in the NBA.

2. Bob Delaney

Delaney, a former undercover New Jersey state trooper, started his NBA career in 1987 until his retirement in 2011. The 71-year-old had an impressive officiating career, effectively serving as a referee in 1,182 regular-season games, including 120 playoff games and seven final games.

3. Tim Donaghy

Although Tim Donaghy’s NBA career only lasted for 13 seasons between 1994 and 2007, his professionalism as an NBA referee can’t be questioned. He officiated in 772 regular-season games, including 20 playoff games. However, he was found to have been involved in a gambling scandal, for which he was sentenced to prison.

4. Marvin Mindy

Marvin is one of the few NBA referees with a successful officiating career. He started working with the NBA as a referee in 1953 and spent 22 years doing this until 1975. During this period of his career, Marvin refereed 2,112 games, including 8 NBA All-Star games. However, in 2022, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the sport.

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