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Report: Rockets assign Royce White to D-League

Dec 30, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

Royce White AP

Royce White, the No. 16 pick from the last draft, has been away from the Rockets since just a couple weeks into the season as he clashed with the team over the best way to deal with his anxiety disorder.

Now it looks like he may start out his career in the D-League — Houston has assigned White to its D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as reported by

This is supposed to be the first step in a multi-week program to get him back to the team, CSN reports.

For the past week White has been back at the Rockets training facility working out (although not with the team).

At the start of training camp White and the Rockets tried to come to an agreement over how best to accommodate him dealing with his disorder. White feels the team has not been honest and not done enough to accommodate his needs. The Rockets have been publicly supportive but will say they think they have done a lot (including him to drive to many of the team’s road games on a bus and more.

White has taken to twitter to decry his treatment (and how he has been portrayed in the press), saying this is not about the fear of flying that is part of his disorder but about his treatment by the team.

White fell to No. 16 in the draft because he was open about his disorder and some teams were concerned about if he could adapt to the NBA lifestyle of travel and inconsistent schedules. The Rockets took the risk, because GM Daryl Morey believes in his talent, but White has yet to play for them.

We will see if he ever plays for the Vipers as a start.

  1. timb12 - Dec 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Hasn’t he been assigned to the D-League before?

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Yes. He refused the assignment then as well.

  2. illogic87 - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    what a loser

  3. brotherlove2012 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    What a brat! Anxiety disorder is a serious matter, but I think he uses it to manipulate the organization, he is getting a special treatment, what more does he want? It’s not Star Trek, teleportation is not an option. He should quit already if he doesn’t want to travel like a pro. What a mess of a situation, a wasted pick for Houston, it’s a shame because this guy has talent.

  4. rubberinnertube - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    We can’t possibly know what’s truly going on in his mind.

    But the main point was underscored again in this post and has been prevalent throughout:
    White was extremely candid about his condition. Morley took a calculated risk, knowing that it could be a disaster. White could still turn out great…or it could be a sustained disaster.

    In any event, the Rockets can’t act like they were blindsided.

    • pacific123ocean - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      I disagree. He uses twitter to tell us exactly what is going on in his mind.

    • danielcp0303 - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Gonna have to disagree here. The Rockets wouldn’t have been blindsided by a medical/mental health issue, but this isn’t that. It’s becoming a question mark if he actually wants to play basketball for a living. He’s been assigned to the D-League twice now and has refused to go. He gives vague statements about the situation, not telling anyone what can be done about it. What’s the difference between now and training camp? He was there and also traveled for away games during the preseason. What’s the difference between now and when he was in college? He won’t give answers because the truth is the only difference is playing time. He’s hiding behind his mental health issue, which is a shame.

  5. themagicfanguy - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    They could have gotten Sullinger, Perry Jones, or Nicholson…

  6. dylude - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    It’s not his disorder that’s allowing him to get special treatment, but as usual it’s his talent. If he didn’t lead his Div-1 NCAA team in points, rebounds, and assists no one would know his name. Houston always sends rookies to the D-League lately and with Rio Grande’s less rigorous travel schedule, it’s something Royce will have to accept if he ever wants to be an NBA player. Lin, Motiejunas, Patterson, Morris, etc all played in Rio Grande, good luck Mr White.

    Oh and Morey was pressured into taking Royce by Kevin McHale according to Royce’s agent via Grantland’s coverage of his draft

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