ORLANDO, Fla. — Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr. is ready to move past the bizarre set of circumstances that caused his name to be left off the roster for Washington’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks last Friday, but it was a night he always will remember.
Although Mason’s name is on the official Wizards roster released by the NBA just before the season began, somehow, on the night of the Bucks game, Mason’s name was mistakenly placed on the roster for the New York Knicks.
Perhaps a copy of an old roster was lying around.
“Obviously, it was weird,” Mason said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Last year, I was on the Knicks roster, so it must have been a system error. A bunch of people just overlooked it.
“Obviously, I was disappointed, because I felt like I had a great rhythm, I hit the first shot, I was ready to make a contribution. We kind of went downhill from there, but you know, you move on.”
Last season, Mason appeared in 26 games for the Knicks, averaging 12.3 minutes and 2.9 points. Mason will play against his former team when the Knicks visit Verizon Center on Friday.
Special attention likely will be paid to both rosters.
The well-traveled Mason is a native of Washington D.C., and has played for Chicago, Toronto and San Antonio in addition to the Knicks, and he is in his second stint with the Wizards. Mason also spent a year playing for Olympiacos in Greece, and Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel.
One of the most well-rounded and respected players in the league, Mason is a vice president of the NBA Players Association, and helped craft the new collective bargaining agreement, guaranteeing labor peace for at least the next six years, when either side can opt out of the 10-year agreement.
A career role-player, Mason’s best season was in 2008-09 with the Spurs, when he appeared in all 82 games, averaging 30.4 minutes and 11.8 points. He’s been to the playoffs four times, with the Wizards in 2007 and 2008 and with the Spurs in 2009 and 2010.
Mason, 31, could have looked to sign with a contender after leaving the Knicks, but he wanted to come home and play on a team where he believed his presence was needed.
“I felt like I could have an impact [with the Wizards] and not only on the floor,” Mason said. “I knew I could contribute playing alongside John Wall and some of the young talent, and in the locker room, being in championship organizations in San Antonio, bringing some of the knowledge that I learned there into this locker room was something that I felt was a good opportunity.”
Looking beyond his NBA career, Mason recently announced on Twitter that might be interested in pursuing a career in politics.
“I went to Sidwell Friends and when I went to school Chelsea [Clinton] was my classmate. Growing up in D.C., politics was obviously really big. When I’m done playing, it’s something that I do have an interest in,” Mason said. “I just feel like if you have a voice and an opportunity to make a difference, you should. It’s something I wouldn’t put past myself.”