No update on NBA’s review of Howard Stickum incident

There was no update Sunday afternoon of the NBA’s review of the Dwight Howard Stickum spray incident, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Rockets center was caught using the spray during Saturday’s game against the Hawks in Atlanta. The ball was removed from the game and both benches were warned that the use of the substance is not allowed. There is no in-game penalty for such an infraction.

It is possible Howard will not face disciplinary action. The league may send out a reminder to all NBA teams that the use of the substance is not allowed.

The incident occurred in the first quarter of the Hawks’ 109-97 victory. Howard came to the scorer’s table and liberally sprayed his hands with a substance contained in a can that was covered with white tape. The Hawks’ Paul Millsap was at the free-throw line with 3:48 remaining in the opening quarter at the time Howard’s visit to the table. After Millsap made his first attempt, Howard touched the ball. When it was returned for Millsap for his second attempt, he alerted the referee to a substance on the ball.

“I’ve never felt the ball like that ever,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the game. “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.”

Lead official Monty McCutchen took 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.

Millsap missed his second free-throw attempt with a new basketball.

From video review of the incident, it was Bickerstaff who took the can in question and another can of Court Grip, a substance some players use on their shoes, back to the Rockets’ bench. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Rockets failed to produce the spray can when asked by a league official.

“I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it,” Howard told the Houston Chronicle after the game. “I do it every game. It’s not a big deal. I ain’t tripping.”

Following the game, the officiating crew asked for the ball in question and it was delivered by a member of the Hawks staff to them.

Howard finished with eight points and 17 rebounds in the loss. Howard used the spray 28 seconds after he scored a layup. Following the basket, the Rockets’ Jason Terry was called for the foul on Millsap.