No penalty for Howard, Rockets warned for adhesive substance (updated)

Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be penalized for the use of an adhesive substance during Saturday night’s game against the Hawks.

However, the NBA issued a memo to all teams on Monday advising them that the Rockets have been warned for the incident. The memo also reminded teams that the use of adhesive substances during games is prohibited.

A copy of the memo sent to teams, from Executive Vice President of Operations Kike Vandeweghe, was obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Here is the memo:

“Please be advised that a warning was issued today to the Houston Rockets for the team’s use of an adhesive substance on a player’s hands during a game. The use of any adhesive substance, such as Quick-Drying Tape Adherent, during games is strictly prohibited. For the purpose of clarity, “during games” means the period beginning 90 minutes prior to tip-off until the conclusion of the game.

Please be reminded that, under league rules: (1) any equipment used during games must be appropriate for basketball; (2) any equipment that is unnatural and designed to increase a player’s height or reach, or to gain an advantage, is prohibited; (3) players may not engage in any activity that has the potential to affect or influence the outcome of any NBA game by anything other than its merits, including, but not limited to, tampering with or causing someone else to tamper with equipment.

While league rules prohibit players from using adhesive substances during games, they do permit the use of substances that merely dry a player’s hands – such as resin, chalk, and liquid chalk. In advance of the Playoffs, we will be distributing more specific information concerning what substances players and teams are permitted to use during games.”

The league concluded its review of the case on Monday. According to two sources, the Hawks were not interviewed concerning the incident.

Howard was not named in the league memo. However, he was involved in the incident Saturday when a ball he touched had to be removed from the game in the first quarter because of a foreign substance. Paul Millsap was about to shoot a second free throw, after Howard touched the ball, and alerted game officials to the substance he likened to “super glue” after the game. Immediately prior to the discovery, Howard liberally sprayed his hands with a substance in a can covered in white tape.

The Rockets initially did not make the spray can available when requested by a league official. The can, and two others, were turned over in the third quarter. The league also took possession of the ball was removed from the game by lead official Monty McCutchen.

The adhesive spray the Rockets possessed was Q.D.A., a product used to aid in the taping of ankles, etc. Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff slid in front of the can, still at the scorer’s table, when being warned by McCutchen. Bickerstaff soon after took the can to the Rockets bench.

Howard said after the game he has used the substance for years.

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