In a bit of strange news, Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum was forced to sit out of Wednesday’s game against the Clippers after he was left off the team’s lineup card by accident. Portland announced the mistake as a “clerical error in the NBA’s active list reporting.”
McCollum warmed up for the game in full uniform and was prepared to take the floor right up until lineups were announced in Portland. As he sat on the bench ready to come out, Allen Crabbe was announced instead.
Reserve guard Luis Montero was apparently listed on the lineup card in place of McCollum, who is averaging 21 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in what has been a breakout season. Montero, however, did not get the memo, and sat on the bench in street clothes anyway. He was technically eligible to go in, while McCollum, fully dressed, was not.
The Blazers reportedly attempted to make a correction at the last minute, but did not follow the proper protocol. As Yahoo! Sports’ Bobby Marks points out, once teams submit their active/inactive roster an hour before tip-off, the list is final and cannot be changed.
Conflicting stories surfaced regarding whether McCollum had the opportunity to play. The Los Angeles Times’s Ben Bolch reported that the teams collectively contacted the league regarding McCollum’s omission and the NBA ruled he still had to sit out. One source told The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman that the NBA gave Rivers an option let McCollum play. He reportedly declined.
And so, McCollum sat and watched as the Clippers won 109–98 in Portland. Crabbe scored 11 points in his place as Portland fell to 15–23.
“I signed the paper without really noticing,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after the game, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Jason Quick.
McCollum had perhaps the quote of the night regarding the incident, simply saying, according to Quick, “People make mistakes. Why be mad about it?”
- Jeremy Woo