Butler's straw chewing banned

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butler.jpgUPDATE 12:08 pm: The NBA’s official explanation is that it is a “safety issue” (via FanHouse). Butler can chew straws on the bench, but not during game play. Because it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

9:25 am: Before and during games, Caron Butler had a habit of chewing straws. Goes through about a dozen a game on average. Plastic straws. We don’t get it either, but it’s his thing, and as things go it’s pretty harmless. Other teammates (including Dirk Nowitzki) were joining in the fun in warm-ups the other night.

But now David Stern and the league office have banned the harmless habit.

The questions are why, and why now? This is Butler’s 12th year in the league and he has been chewing straws for a long, long time. This is not some new trend. And it’s not like Butler is just now coming to prominence. It was fine for Butler to chew straws when he was an All-Star. It was fine when he played alongside Kobe Bryant. But now it’s a problem?

The league office couldn’t be bothered to put out a statement yesterday on the new blood tests testing for Human Growth Hormone — both the NFL and MLB were all over this with top league officials speaking on the issue — but they have the time to ban straw chewing?