Jermaine O’Neal was caught without his passport, denied entrance to Canada, misses game in Toronto

Many of us that aren’t ardent world travelers don’t have a current passport. Some of us have even had our passports stolen. The document isn’t exactly a needed thing if you’re not consistently bounding from rock to rock, touring the world and elsewhere.

Basketball players kinda need the things, though. Not only are they vacationing in sunny spots once the NBA season ends, but they’re often asked to play exhibition games and/or sell shoes overseas, and there is also the nagging issue of those one or potentially two regular games to be played in Toronto every season. You kind of have to bring that little blue book with you.

Jermaine O’Neal doesn’t have his passport, for whatever reason, right now. And it’s why the Golden State Warriors big man – who has been starting of late, up until Friday’s win in New York – was unable to play for his team when they took on the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon. Warriors coach Mark Jackson discussed as much prior to the contest, from the San Jose Mercury News:

"A misunderstanding," Jackson said of the passport issue. "We thought we had it, so the ball was dropped, and we don't know whether it was stolen or lost, what have you, but we discovered late-afternoon yesterday, and there was not enough time to fix it and get it here, so he will not be playing tonight."

Golden State went on to lose to Toronto, and yes, defense was a problem for the otherwise sterling defensive team. They genuinely could have used O’Neal, as DeMar DeRozan slashed and bombed his way toward yet another win for the Raptors.

So, was it misplaced or stolen? Remember, O’Neal actually played 41 games with the Toronto Raptors in 2008-09, so it’s not like he isn’t used to both playing in Canada and having to take his passport out every time the Raps hit the road. This knowledge, and the Golden State loss, likely inspired this Twitter explanation:

Sounds good, Jermaine. But be careful flying into Indianapolis. They’ll only let you board with bottles of a certain size.

- - - - - - -

Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next