SB Nation – Dwight Howard was caught using Stickum spray on the ball in the Rockets’ game against the Hawks.
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.
There are a few parts missing from this story, right? I mean, it obviously can’t end with the referee warning both benches, replacing the ball and then getting back to the game. There has to be more.
Where’s the part about the collective outrage from a shocked nation? The NBA official grabbing a Rockets’ employee to say, “We checked the balls. You’re in big f-ing trouble”? I missed the news last night, but I imagine all the networks led their newscasts with this story, correct? A big time, superstar athlete doctoring the ball to his liking in order to gain a competitive advantage and covering it up? That’s a huge story, is it not?
What night is Dwight Howards’ press conference, anyway? He needs to answer these charges with more than just saying “it’s not a big deal.” America deserves answers. What did he give the team employee to bribe him to cover up the Stickum label? How much has he talked to the guy? When will he hand over his phone and turn over all his texts? And will he look into the camera and speak directly to all his fans who want to know “What’s up with our hero?”
Oddly though, it seems as though none of those things are happening. Which is shocking, I know. Just as it did with the St. Louis Cardinals’ hacking scandal, the New York Jets tampering with Darrelle Revis and lying on injury reports, Aaron Rodgers admitting to over-inflating footballs, the Atlanta Falcons piping in crowd noise or the Cleveland Browns texting with coaches in the middle of the game, America is showing its infinite capacity to look the other way when anyone gets caught cheating. Just so long as the cheaters in question don’t play in New England.
Here’s hoping the NBA looks into this matter. And whatever they find, I just hope it doesn’t get Tom Brady suspended.