You may have missed it last Friday night, after all it was a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards and you do have your dignity to think of, but Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr.'s ejection from that Wizards loss came because of a very strange infraction.
He was kicked out, apparently, for playing basketball. Oh, the humanity. And all the people.
A "technical glitch" prevented Mason's name from being included on the Wizards' active roster for that night, and Mason was ejected from the game soon after hitting a turnaround jumper in the first quarter because he was ineligible to play. The basket, weirdly, was awarded to Rashard Lewis. Shouldn't it not have counted at all, if you're going to be this exacting about things?
The problem began at the league office, which submits official rosters for teams before each game. Mason wasn't on the active roster list and neither the Wizards' public relations staff nor Coach Flip Saunders caught the blunder. Saunders signed the document despite it having just 14 names on the 15 available spaces and accepted blame after the Wizards lost, 102-81, to the Bucks.
"A technical glitch occurred and the omission was not picked up in a timely manner by team and game personnel," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.
Frank also denied a report that the error occurred because the league was installing a new data system and still had Mason listed with his former team, the New York Knicks.
The league is doing the right thing, here. Sure, the glitch may have been the league's fault, but there are all sorts of machinations that teams could take advantage of if the NBA set the precedent of letting Mason play just on a "oh, who cares, we're cool"-count.
And though coach Flip Saunders signed off on his team's roster, I'll bet that in a rush most of us wouldn't notice a missing 10th man from our favorite team's roster were we charged with looking over the thing pregame.
Mason was understandable, but also understandably not pleased:
As he sat in the locker room incensed, Mason had to watch his teammates crumble the rest of the half, rally, then collapse again in fourth quarter — and wonder if he could've made a difference.
"It just stinks," said Mason, saying that he had never witnessed a situation so bizarre in his seven-year career. "I was looking forward to making a contribution to our team. But it's not just about me. You have to move on. I'm one player."
Not before yelling "this is [bleeping] nuts!" as he entered the Wizards locker room.