During the Houston Rockets loss in Atlanta Saturday, center Dwight Howard caused an on court issue when he rubbed ‘stick-um’ on the ball.
A day later we’re learning the league is looking into the situation to decide if it warrants any type of penalty or suspension. For those who missed last night’s game here’s basically what happened:
- Hawks Paul Millsap was at the free throw line waiting to take his shot.
- As is often the case Dwight Howard asked for the ball and rolled it around in his hand. You can see while he is handling the ball he rubs something on to it.
- When the ref throws the ball back to Millsap he recognizes something is on the ball and throws it back to the ref.
- Again Howard grabs the ball and again he rubs his hands on it
- This time the referee takes the ball over to the sidelines and replaces it with a new ball
The video below shows the series of events:
Post game reports had Millsap citing the foreign substance as something he had never experienced:
"“ ” I’ve never felt the ball like that ever,” Millsap said after the game. “It was sticky. It was like super glue or something was on there. I couldn’t get it off my hands. It was the weirdest thing ever."
While Howard stated he has been using it for the past 5 years. Oddly, the can containing the spray was taped over with a white cover. So, if there isn’t an issue, why tape over the can?
Here’s the rub (no pun intended) as per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article:
". Official Monty McCutchen grabbed the ball and went to each bench to issue a warning, saying ‘ ‘ After first going to the Hawks bench he made his way toward the Rockets bench. Rockets coach , still at the scorer’s table. McCutchen noted he knew what Bickerstaff was hiding Stickum is illegal in the NBA. J.B. Bickerstaff slid in front of the can"
As for Howard post game comments he plead ignorance there was a problem to use it or so he was quoted as saying to the Houston Chronicle:
"“I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it,” Howard told the Houston Chronicle after the game. “I do it every game. It’s not a big deal. I ain’t tripping.”"
But the fact Bickerstaff slid in front of the can to hide it signifies (at least from this writer’s perspective) that he knew it was an illegal use of a substance. And, Howard’s denial isn’t that simple, because there is a problem given McCutchen’s comments and the fact the Association is now investigating. It’s not on the same level as PED’s in Major League Baseball, but it is just one more incident shining a spotlight on the myriad of issues in Houston that just won’t go away.
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