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Rockets Royce White skips game, practice, to be sent to D-League

Nov 13, 2012, 10:19 PM EDT

UPDATE 10:19 pm: Royce White took to twitter to answer critics and defend himself on Tuesday night. He said first hat the flight to Detroit the Rockets had to take was not the issue.

The Rockets feel they have been accommodating. This is not a situation with easy, simple answers.

7: 14 pm: Royce White — the Rockets first-round draft pick who has been battling an anxiety disorder — has been away from the team for several days now, reports the Houston Chronicle.

No reason for the absence has been given.

The Rockets are planning to send White (along with Scott Machado and Donatas Motiejunas) to the D-League’s Rio Grande team. However, as of right now White is not with the Rockets. He was not at the game Monday night (he has been on the inactive list for most games this season) but his absence seems to be longer than that, Chronicle writer Jonathan Feigan reports.

Marcus Morris, asked if he had spoken with White about his experience in the D-League last year, said White had not been at practice for at least three days.

Tuesday night, Rockets GM Daryl Morey released a statement:

“Royce is not available right now. We are committed to his long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward.”

Well, that is vague. More ominous is what Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said to Feigan, including that there were “internal repercussions” for White’s absences.

White is a very talented player and the Rockets given him room to set up his own travel arrangements (he was going to pay for a bus to drive him to games — part of White’s anxiety disorder includes a fear of flying. The heavy travel and broken routines of an NBA lifestyle (especially on the road) will be White to deal with due to his disorder.

To be clear, we don’t know if White’s absence is related to the disorder. We don’t really know much of anything. Like the Rockets, we’re still hopeful this can all still work out.

  1. cdins - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    You dont know anything but report anyways? Ok

  2. fmlizard - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    This is about as surprising to Minnesota fans as a torn ACL to a star athlete.

    • minnesotablizzard - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      We could use a guy like Royce after all these injuries!

  3. rocketsbb - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    They should keep Scott and play him instead of Douglas

    • saint1997 - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:22 AM

      ABSOLUTELY AGREE! He is so underrated, such a talented player. Can’t believe he did not get drafted. It seems McHale doesn’t want his rookies to succeed…

  4. lakerluver - Nov 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    This story might not end well. Sad.

  5. pacific123ocean - Nov 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Royce can now get his wish of taking a bus to the games.

  6. 24thesho - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    “We’re talkin’ ’bout practice?” A.I. could say it, Royce can’t.

    – A.Iverson


  7. humanvue - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    I’m from Minnesota also, so I hope Royce finds himself in a good situation. Maybe if he gets cut, he can go to a team in the east where the travel to conference games wouldn’t be so far. Not that I’ve ever driven a bus to MSG or Brooklyn.

    • mffljbm51d - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      East teams play West teams. No matter where he goes, he’s going to be a liability because of his disorder. Anxiety disorders are T-O-U-G-H. I wish him the best but the Rockets knew the risks in drafting him. i hope it works out in Houston.

  8. tomtravis76 - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I was excited to see Royce play in the league, the guy has a unique skill set, but if he can’t cope with the NBA lifestyle because of his anxiety, he really should not hold a team up.

  9. timb12 - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    I know that anxiety is a serious condition and it should be taken seriously, but what’s going on? I think the Rockets have been pretty helpful and understanding. He can’t take a bus to all the games. He’s getting paid to play basketball now, he deserves to have the Rockets accommodate to his condition but at some point it’s going to get to be too much.

  10. slippyal2 - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    He can always do a job where he is not paid to travel. Rockets blew a draft pick, only a matter of time till he is traded.

  11. rohlo - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    i have had anxiety disorder for decades and had problems flying..i got over it and im not making millions of dollars… royce u have god given talent. the rockets have set up appointments for you to see therapists since coming to the rockets and yet he hasnt gone to one of the appointments… stop making excuses and do something about trying to get over your disorder and stop acting like you are the only person with a disorder..u are letting down your team mates as well.. also stop quoting phrases from the bible to justify you not taking the initive to try and overcome your disorder and also playing the blame game and blaming the houston rockets!!! you should be thankful for the rockets taking you with a first round pick as every team knew you had an anxiety disorder with flying and you prob wouldnt have been drafted or been second round late at best!! be thabnkful for the opportunity you have been given or pretty soon you will be working for enterprise rent a car !!

  12. fmlizard - Nov 14, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    What road trips are even feasible by bus from Houston? NO, San Antonio, Dallas, and maybe Memphis or OKC if they have a day off beforehand. You can’t be in the NBA and not fly. Won’t work.

  13. pinhead2 - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Perhaps a fear of flying is something you should discuss with your employer BEFORE you accept a high-paying job that involves extensive airline travel!!!

  14. metalhead65 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    sorry for your problem kid but you are getting paid allot of money along with the support they are giving you. time for you to do something besides complain like I don’t know do what they are paying you for. sure hope the rockets covered themselves so they are not stuck paying this nut job his full salary for doing nothing.the fact they drafted him and worked with him to set up his own travel schedule shows me that he is more than just a number to them. maybe he should use some of the contract money he got and get the treatment he obviously needs. but I guess he would expect the rockets to pay for that to, way to waste a pick guys.

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