A very elemental part of a carefully managed photo opportunity involving a prime minister in an election year and two NBA players of a different ethnicity: make sure everyone in the photo is correctly identified.
Poor Anthony Bennett, who in 2013 became the first Canadian taken first overall in the NBA draft a year before the more vaunted Andrew Wiggins did, just can't get any regard. The Minnesota Timberwolves duo are playing their first game in Canada as NBA teammates on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors as part of Canada Basketball night. Before the game, they posed for a picture with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Alas, in an embarrasing gaffe, the PMO's official Twitter tagged Bennett — whose Twitter handle is the really confusing @anthonybennett, not even an underscore — but identified him Kyle Lowry, the Raptors point guard, who is from Philadelphia.
lolololololol, poor AB, prime minister tags kyle lowry instead. pic.twitter.com/Qb4FsE7YCf
— alex (@steven_lebron) March 18, 2015
Whoops. Some PMO staffer might have to find her/his own way back to Ottawa after the game.
Far be it to suggest the staff in the prime minister's office aren't big basketball fans. Lowry plays a different position than Bennett and is eight inches shorter than the Brampton-raised Timberwolves forward.
It's a little bit of a slap in the face to Bennett that someone was so careless. That goes double since the second-year NBA player, just hours earlier, confirmed that he's committed to play for Team Canada this summer as it competes in the Pan-Am Games and also attempts to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. (Wiggins, who's having an excellent rookie season, is still on the fence.)
Communications mess-ups do happen in politics all the time. This has nothing on the time six years ago that the PMO believed former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher had died because then-cabinet minister John Baird had sent a text about the death of his cat.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.