Stickum has apparently been around for a long time in the world of sports. In January 25, 1981, Lester Hayes applied Stickum during Super Bowl XV, when the Oakland Raiders quarterback was in New Orleans. By putting on Stickum paste on himself so prominently, Hayes obviously didn’t find anything wrong with using Stickum in public. That’s sort of the same philosophy held by Dwight Howard, who was caught using Stickum spray — but according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Dwight’s Stickum spray can was covered in white tape.
With all this focus on Stickum spray, folks might wonder what exactly Stickum spray is — and why it would be controversial for Howard to apply Stickum spray on his hands during Saturday’s game versus the Hawks. The Stickum spray adhesive found on Amazon has plenty of glowing reviews, with customers commenting on the merits of using Stickum spray with baseball gloves, in football games or even basketball games. Some write that the Stickum spray works too well, making gloves too sticky.
Others write that the Stickum spray really helps with ball handling and can end up being so sticky that it can take several times washing the hands to get the Stickum tackiness to leave their hands. One reviewer noted that he or she even used the Stickum spray as a gripping factor after spraying the Stickum spray on the bottom of shoes, which added extra grip on the basketball court. All these factors make basketball fans see why added ball handling and grip on the basketball and perhaps the basketball court, too, would be an attractive proposition to Howard.
“Works well as expected. Helps tack for hands with basketball. Limits slick feel of hands or if they are dried out. Have sprayed a little on bottom of shoes as well and seems to give a little extra grip on the court. Don’t need to use a lot, however sometimes doesn’t seem to last as long as previous applications.”
But is Howard’s use of the Stickum spray illegal? Will Dwight face any fines from the NBA for using Stickum spray?
According to a game official who examined the ball after Howard handled it, and another player noted how sticky the ball felt — like superglue was on it — Monty McCutchen noted that Stickum is not allowed in the NBA.
“Stickum is illegal in the NBA.”
During the game, there wasn’t a penalty for the Stickum spray use; however, the Stickum spray scandal is being reviewed by the NBA. Howard wasn’t hiding the fact that he used Stickum spray during the game — even if the Stickum spray can was covered in tape, and reportedly not turned over to officials. The basketball was turned over to officials, but not the Stickum spray can in question. Dwight, meanwhile, admitted his use of Stickum spray every single game.
“I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it. I do it every game. It’s not a big deal. I ain’t tripping.”
Although Dwight’s not “tripping,” those who feel as if Stickum spray gives athletes an unfair advantage in games where their competitors aren’t using Stickum spray might feel differently.
On Facebook, some commenting on the Stickum spray situation feel differently as well. Michelle Hall Shining Elk wrote that she learned about Stickum spray in junior high, and the fact that it’s not legal.
“Uh, they are making a big deal out of it because using Stickum is illegal.”
“I think I learned about Stickum and that it couldn’t be used, when I played BB the Jr. High.”
“It’s crazy that he has been using it for 5 years and no one noticed until now.”
[Photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP Images]