Dwight Howard got caught in a sticky situation... literally.
The Houston Rockets center was caught using stickum, a spray that was formerly used in the NFL and makes it easier for players to grip the ball, Saturday night.
Howard was caught in the act after applying the sticky substance straight from the can, which was conveniently covered in athletic tape. It was brought to the referees' attention when Howard grabbed the basketball before a free-throw attempt by Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap during the first quarter of the Rockets-Hawks game.
On the video, you can clearly see Millsap feeling uncomfortable and gesturing that his hands felt sticky, passing the basketball back to the refs to get a closer look.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the refs warned both the Rockets' and Hawks' benches that the stickum spray is illegal in the NBA, just as it is in the NFL.
"I’ve never felt the ball like that, ever," Millsap told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "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."
After the game, Howard tried to brush it all off.
"I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it," Howard told the Houston Chronicle. "I do it every game. It’s not a big deal. I ain’t tripping."
Howard's use of stickum is being reviewed by the NBA, as reported by the Associated Press.
In the NFL, the stickum spray was making it easier for receivers to haul in receptions, forcing the league to ban the substance.
But in the NBA... we can't remember a player getting caught using it before. For a player like Howard, who does most of his work in the post, stickum could be an advantage, in letting him grip the ball better.
It will be interesting to see if the league suspends him for using it.
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(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)