My NBA Referee Story

During the National Anthem played prior to the game, I stood up along side of Grant and Reid and faced the American flag. All of the sudden, I felt a tap on my left shoulder. I was standing all the way to the right and had full view of Grant and Reid on my left so I was wondering who the heck that could be. First, I looked at the people behind me and they weren’t even paying attention, and then I did a 180 and looked towards the floor. The only thing I saw was this NBA official looking back at me and laughing. I thought that was kinda cool for him to interact with the fans like that, so following the game, I decided that I would try and take a picture of him for memory’s sake. The shot above was my feeble attempt at doing so. The funny thing is that he saw the flash and then looked at me and started laughing again (he must’ve remembered his previous prank). Then, he stuck out his hand and we shook hands. What a cool guy! I have a newfound respect for these individuals who work NBA games night after night. If anybody knows what this guy’s name is, please let me know. I tried looking for more information on the referees who officiated this game (Ronnie Nunn, Tony Brothers, Monty McCutchen), but I’m not sure which one he is.

Monty McCutchen - My NBA Referee StoryMonty McCutchen

Isn’t the Internet great!? I now have confirmation from three separate sources (and counting…) telling me that it is indeed Monty McCutchen. Apparently, he used to be a well-liked elementary school teacher. I’m creating my own, person reunion site as we speak. See below for details! BTW, if you’re Monty McCutchen and you are reading this as well, thanks for making my game and trip to Vancouver memorable. As evidenced below, it looks like you’ve made an impact on many other people’s lives as well… If you’re ever in Hawaii, send me a note cause I’d like to meet ya! πŸ˜›

From: ktsen
Subject: your referee question
Date: Monday, February 04, 2002
Time: 08:40 AM
you probably forgot all about the ref who you tried getting a picture @ the lakers v. grizzlies in nov of 2000, but i though you might want to know that if it’s the guy i think he is (your pic is hard to tell) it’s #58, monty mccutchen. and i swear i’m not making this up, but this guy used to be my 6th grade teach in my japanese elementary school. let me know either way if he’s the one….


From: wes
Subject: referee confirmation
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Time: 07:04 PM
hi there,

I too can verify that the referee in the middle is Monty McCutchen…also, my sixth grade teacher at Maryknoll ! A very cool guy. I’m glad to hear he is still making people smile.

ps – ksten, what’s your real name? …maybe we can have a reunion… πŸ™‚



From: melissa_iris
Subject: referree #58
Date: Friday, April 11, 2003
Time: 08:24 AM
hey there – this is random, but i went to maryknoll, too. monty was MY teacher as well. do you think i could get the e-mail addresses of these folks you replied the same. monty is a very very cool guy indeed. thanks


Subject: Referee, Monty McCutchen
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2005
Time: 07:33 AM
Holy cow, talk about random. I was also a student at Maryknoll in L.A., and Monty McCutchen was history teacher in either 7th or 8th grade, back in the late 80’s. And in agreement with the person whose message you posted last, he was a cool guy. Did you ever hear from him? Do you know if it’s possible to contact him? Do you know what became of the writers of the three messages you posted? I couldn’t tell whether they were in my particular class or not, but I’d be interested in any updates to your Monty McCutchen story. -SY

Mystery Solved!
The great Monty McCutchen has contacted me (see his message below) after his sister “Googled” his name and came across my web site. Wheeeee this web thing is awesome! Turns out, he’s as fun/funny as he was that fateful day our lives first crossed paths, and we’re hoping to meet up one day at a future NBA game. What a great guy!

From: Monty McCutchen
Subject: You Rang
Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Time: 06:42 PM
Word rollin in with the tumbleweeds is that you’ve been looking for me. Its hard to track a hermit down but alas through various conspiracies of intersecting paths, most notably my sister googling my name and coming to your website you have at least reached my keyboard. Probably a little anti-climatic now going on 6 years since the game you attended in Vancouver. I promise not to hold you personally responsible for their franchise relocating to Memphis but your visit and their demise do have an eerie convergence. You will have to assure me that no such fate to my career will accompany a return email. Short of that drop a line some time, if you’re in the landlocked 48 you can come to a game as my guest.

I did indeed teach those individuals. It remains the greatest year of my life in many respects. Down to each individual they were all exceptional young people. Of course, I wasn’t really that far away from them age wise, at least it seems less so as the years go by and they get older. It was my first job and I can tell you quite easily they by far taught me more than I taught them. I have had the good fortune to keep in touch with one or two of those students, who I am now lucky to call friends, as that is one of the joys to teaching.

I currently reside in North Carolina (with a few stops thrown in the mix from when I was in Los Angeles), with my wife and two young children ages 6 and 4. I will be entering my 14th season with the NBA this fall. As I mentioned earlier if you find your way over this neck of the woods, let me know and I’ll make sure you get in to a game even if I’m not the one working it. It would be helpful if you didn’t resemble my wife when asking me to turn right as I pass the turn at 60 mph. That is to say a little forewarned notice would help us all out for such a thing to come to pass.

You seem to have a good way about you, at least via the notes on your website. Continued success,

Monty McCutchen
NBA Referee


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11 Responses to “My NBA Referee Story”

  1. leonard Says:

    This is so weird. I just saw a guy on TV named Monty McCutchen a few weeks ago officiate a playoff game. I had a teacher in the eighth grade (1988-89) who was an aspiring NBA ref at the time with the same name. Could it be? I googled the name and found this site. I also see a blog entry from one classmate who’s name I recognize. This internet thing Al Gore gave us is a beautiful thing.

    I remember Mr McCutchen fondly. He was one of 2 or 3 truly inspiring instructors I’ve had in all my years of schoolling… and I’m not just typing this because he can score me some sweet tickets. How many people can say they learned the phrase “laissez faire” in eighth grade? That’s right. Add to that: who Adam Smith was, Darwinism (did I mention it was a parochial school? that’s courage!), and a healthy and practical cynism which has come in handy when dealing with life insurance and time-share salesmen. It’s no surprise this guy is succesful in the NBA (I believe he’s officiated NBA finals and all-star games).


  2. World Wide Ed Says:

    Thanks for the feedback leonard. Yeah, it seems like he’s left a lasting impression on many students…

  3. Brad Says:

    I just happened to be checking up on ole Monty and came across this site. I knew him through high school and college while he was growing up in Texas. Truly a unique and genuinely good person. I must admit that I still get a kick out of it when I see him out on the court.

  4. World Wide Ed Says:

    Thanks for sharing Brad. Looks like Monty continues to have his legion of followers/admirers. πŸ™‚

  5. Youlanda Says:

    Hi, Monty it’s Youlanda Freemont High. I would love to here from you, one day soon. How could you froget the hand that kept you feed????????? tell the wife I said hi.

  6. tamara jones Says:

    Monty used to teach english at fremont high school in los angeles. I was in the 11th grade and I loved going to english he taught us different stuff than any english teacher I had and he taught it in a way that was fun and easy to remember. It was just so funny to hear is texas tone and to see him in his cowboy boots and old levis. Monty you were the best. I always remember his exact words the lakers cry to much..and im a laker fanatic monty..thanks for the memories. I show my kids to you when I see you ref my lakers

  7. Brock Spore Says:

    Sounds like the Monty I used to know when he and I were substitute teachers in LA in the late 80s. If you are in touch with him have him drop me a line.



  8. dino Says:

    Monty if you read this i want you to know that your making it real obvious that you are bias against the lakers.

  9. Ginger Heath McCrary Says:

    Sitting here reading the many comments about you Monty. You have turned out to be a fine Man. Helping so many people. Sounds like your having fun loving what you do. That’s really cool. I’m proud of you. OMG you look like your Daddy! If you see or hear from the mean fart, tell him I said hello. He told me he wouldn’t leave Stephenville without telling me, but he did. He married Mike and I in 1995. Hey by the way (lmao:) did you ever get another perm in your hair? That was just to funny.
    Lots of love,
    Ginger Heath McCrary

  10. Rebecca Rusche Says:

    I was lookin for your Daddy……He did just disappear, but then again I have a way of coming and going from this area myself. Anyway, I came across all the NBA stuff about you, Brett told me you were a ref in the NBA some time ago….super cool groovy, man. Tell your Dad I’m lookin for him, just want to catch up, see what he is up to. Last time I saw him he said he would be headin out around to Abilene area and then he was gone…or did I leave….either way, it would be nice to chat with him, it’s been so long. Peace fellow traveler, Rebecca

  11. Cynthia Croft Says:

    Monty McCutchen -March 20,2012- Lakers -104/Rockets-107—the Rockets owe this win to you . You made at least six bogus foul calls and you ignored seven fouls Scolia made on Gasol. You went out of your way to suit up for the rockets. Loser

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