The NBA will investigate Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard‘s use of stickum, after the center was caught using the substance in Saturday’s game.
Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap noticed the game ball was stickier than usual when he lined up for a free throw in Saturday’s matchup versus the Rockets. Howard just handled the ball before Millsap caught it at the free throw line.
After the game, Millsap said he never felt a ball like that before. He said it felt like super glue covered the ball, according to the Vertical.
During the contest, The referees reminded both teams that use of stickum was illegal.
Nonetheless, Howard laughed the incident off after the game, according to multiple reports. Howard said he did not know why people were, “tripping,” as he uses it every game.
However, the use of stickum is reportedly illegal.
“All equipment used must be appropriate for basketball. Equipment that is unnatural and designed to increase a player’s height or reach, or to gain an advantage, shall not be used.” According to league policy, which would cover this incident.
Apparently, the Rockets knew it was illegal, as Howard sprayed his hands with a spray can that was covered in tape.
The Vertical reports that players generally use substance to increase grip like powder or liquid powder. These substances keep the hands from sweating, while stickum-like substances generally make the hands stickier.
Stickum was once a very popular substance for NFL receivers and tight ends, until the league outlawed it in 1981.
It is unclear what the NBA intends to do with Howard and the Rockets. They could suspend or fine Howard. The league could come down on the Rockets franchise for allowing him to use the substance. Otherwise, the league could simply send a memo about stickem to franchises, according to the Vertical.