Let's get one thing straight: Cheating doesn't make you a cheater, OK? It just makes you a guy who cheated one time. Or a few times. Or, admittedly, many times over many years.
Maybe that doesn't make sense to most people. But it makes perfect sense to Dwight Howard. In the aftermath of getting caught spraying Stickum onto his hands -- which, by NBA rule, is the illegal use of a banned substance -- Howard is copping to his crime.
But he doesn't know why that incident is earning him a reputation.
"I just think that it's getting overblown, like I'm doing something crazy," Howard says, according to ESPN. "But again, I've never been a cheater, never been the type of player that has to do something illegal to win. It's upsetting, but I can't control it now."
If you're Howard, Stickum gives you a pretty nifty advantage on the court: It improves your rebounding and shot-blocking. But when you apply it too thick, it tends to come off on the ball. Several Atlanta Hawks noticed the sticky substance on the ball, and refs quickly determined that the ball had been doctored.
Howard doesn't want to be treated like this is a serial issue, but he also claims he's been using Stickum for years, and that no one has ever complained. It's not clear if that's the case -- Howard might simply be trying to normalize his illegal substance use by passing it off as commonplace. You would think he wouldn't want to indict himself for years of breaking the rules, but Howard marches to the beat of his own drum.
This also brings to mind a famous scene from Seinfeld, when Kramer tried to get Jerry to install a pirated cable-TV hookup in his apartment:
JERRY: What you're suggesting is illegal.
KRAMER: It's not illegal.
JERRY: It's against the law.
KRAMER: Well, yeah.
Obviously, Howard is Kramer in this scenario. The logic is flawed, but at least the entertainment value is high.