The relationship between the Rockets franchise and White is slowly deteriorating to the point where the idea of possible retirement and an exit from the league is being discussed as an option for Royce.
For those who haven’t been following his story, Royce suffers from a severe mental anxiety disorder. The Rockets were aware of this problem when drafting him, and were under the impression that it could be managed properly with the right people surrounding him. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have selected him so high in the draft with all of those red flags.
As of now, White has not played one regular season game for Houston. He traveled with the Rockets to their season opener against the Detroit Pistons, but he has yet to accompany the team on any other road trips despite having an agreement in place which would allow him to travel via bus.
He has missed practices, team meetings, training camp and scheduled appointments with a doctor to help with his anxiety.
Problems arose when the Rockets demoted White to their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as somewhat of a consequence for all of his absences.
White was none to pleased with the decision. He immediately voiced his displeasure on Twitter in a series of tweets concerning the Houston Rockets and their “lack of support” with his disorder.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey is set to meet with Royce on Monday to discuss his long-term future with the franchise.
White talked to ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez about his upcoming meeting with Morey.
“We all look at the stories that happen later and go, ‘Man, you just wish this guy was able to communicate his problems, or you wish somebody would just’ve talked to him and wished that the communication would’ve been there.”
“Well now the communication’s there and there’s still a problem, right? That means the problem isn’t us. The problem is the art of the business, right? At no point will I compromise my health in the interest of business.”
Houston will fine White for every day he remains away from the team and every session he avoids with a team therapist.
I have a special interest in this Royce White dilemma as I too suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. It’s nothing I’m ashamed to admit.
I’ve been rooting for him every step of the way.
Unfortunately, reality is slowly starting to set in.
As of this writing, it’s looking more and more like the Rockets wasted their #16 pick on White.
From an outsiders perspective, I can’t help but feel that most of the blame should be placed on Royce’s shoulders, if not all of it.
The team is giving him opportunity after opportunity to get help and succeed at the NBA level. Whether it be an appointed doctor or special travel privileges, you can’t downplay the Rockets willingness to at least try to give White the attention he requires.
Royce White is owed nothing. He’s not special. The Houston Rockets took a chance on him when no one else would.
“He isn’t good enough – and I’m not sure anyone would be good enough – to have a completely different set of guidelines for him. I would’ve already cut him.” – NBA GM
Things can’t continue like this. All parties involved are getting nothing out of this relationship.
Can White ever be successful in the NBA? Can he overcome his disease and use the league as a platform to show the world that people who suffer from this disorder can in fact be stars on the grand stage?
It’s looking more and more unlikely by the day.
It’s not like he can just be shipped off to another team. I don’t think a lot of the other franchises around the league are willing to put up with the headaches that come with Royce White.
Houston or bust? Looks like it.
Monday’s meeting will tell a lot about what his future is in the NBA.
If he has one.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports