As Paul Millsap was getting ready to shoot his second free throw in the first quarter in the Atlanta Hawks game against the Houston Rockets, he noticed a foreign substance on the ball, and called for the referee's attention.
It turns out, just as Dwight Howard checked into the game and got lined up on the lane, he requested to see the ball from the referee, where you can see him rub his hands all over the ball. As soon as Millsap received it from the official, he knew something was not right.
Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided more details of the incident:
Official Monty McCutchen grabbed the ball and went to each bench to issue a warning, saying ‘Stickum is illegal in the NBA.' After first going to the Hawks bench he made his way toward the Rockets bench. Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff slid in front of the can, still at the scorer's table. McCutchen noted he knew what Bickerstaff was hiding.
No penalty was enforced. The can was then removed from the scorer's table by a member of the Rockets' staff. According to one person, the team did not produce the spray can when ask for it later by a league official.
"I've never felt the ball like that ever," Millsap said after the game via Chris Vivlamore of 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."
Dwight Howard couldn't quite understand why everybody was making a big deal out of the situation. "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 also mentioned that he had been using it for the past five years, which, might not be the best thing to say given the situation.
Update: NBA won't suspend or fine Dwight Howard
Shams Charania of The Vertical tweeted late Monday afternoon that the NBA would not be suspending Howard for the incident, instead sending a memo to the team saying that the use is "strictly prohibited."
The NBA won't suspend or fine Dwight Howard, sent memo to team that drying supplement is "strictly prohibited," sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 21, 2016