With 3:36 to go in the first quarter, Paul Millsap was fouled and was taking free throws. Between the first and the second attempt Howard went to the bench, returned, and asked the official for the ball. Seconds later referee Monty McCutchen passed the ball to Millsap, who noticed something was wrong with it. The officials then checked the ball and realized it had a foreign substance on it.
They then approached the Rockets' bench and saw a can of Stickum spray that was covered up, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore. McCuthen issued a warning, saying "Stickum is illegal in the NBA." Then the officials replaced the game ball and the game resumed.
We have so many questions. First, why would anyone want to use Stickum in a basketball game? What's to be gained by making the ball sticky? It's not football. Which leads to another big question: how did Howard think he would get away with it? McCutchen didn't notice, but Millsap immediately realized that something was wrong. What were the Rockets thinking?
The league will surely will look into it. Until then, Dwight Howard is providing answers on the situation that raises even more questions.
Howard on his Stickum: "I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it. I do it every game. It’s not a big deal. I ain’t tripping."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) March 20, 2016
* * *
NCAA Cinderella: Northern Iowa is cruising after a remarkable turnaround
Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more