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Royce White refusing assignment to D-League. Ugh.

Dec 30, 2012, 2:21 PM EDT

Royce White AP

For a second time this season, the Houston Rockets have assigned Royce White — the No. 16 overall pick from the last draft — to their D-League team. And for the second time he has refused the assignment.

And from here it’s just hard to see him ever playing a moment for the Rockets.

After a six-week absence from the team as White and the Rockets disagreed over the best course of action to help him play and deal with his anxiety disorder, White had returned to working out at the team facilities this week. Then the Rockets assigned White to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

But White is refusing the assignment, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. White released a statement which is in full on the Chronicle Web site (this is a portion of it):

I do wish to play, but I only intend to do so with the collaboration and recommendation of trained professionals. The purpose of a doctor’s confirmation is to ensure that health decisions are made in the sole interest of health and not conflicted with business. My only hope is that decision makers involved realize that doctors are the only logical source to decide action.

There is an admitted lack of knowledge on behalf of the Rockets and the NBA, it becomes transparent as they choose to forego the knowledge of trained professionals and make independent decisions for something as complex as mental health without consulting any doctors. The Rockets have told me in recent conversations that it is their right to decline even their own doctors’ recommendations. The concept of not listening to medical consultants in medical situations is alarming. It is also alarming that a player is susceptible to fines for simply adhering to the recommendation of doctors.

It is true that accommodating mental health can be very tough and complex, however, sometimes the only reasonable solution to doing what is right is doing what is tough. To portray that the Rockets have been supportive to me is fundamentally incorrect.

White has said continuously that he has not gotten enough if any support from the Rockets organization to help him be a functioning NBA player. The Rockets have been supportive publicly but have said in multiple reports that they have tried a number of steps to accommodate White but that he has not followed through on his end.

I’m not going to pretend to know what is the appropriate way to deal with White’s disorder (my psych minor only gets me so far). My understanding is that one of the ways to best deal with the anxiety is a regular routine schedule, but that is something nearly impossible to do with the travel and varied games times of an NBA team. There clearly is no easy solution.

But the idea of White getting some burn in the D-League before coming up to the NBA squad makes basketball sense.

And more importantly for White, slamming your employer in public — while not having played a game for them — does not help make your point or case to a broader public. If his goal is to show Rockets fans and everyone else that the Rockets are in the wrong here and are not helping him properly, these kinds of statements (not to mention twitter rants) defeat his own purpose. He loses the battle of perception with these things and that hurts his overall cause.

Really, from here it’s just hard to imagine White and the Rockets ending up on the same page, or at least close enough to that page where he would join the team and play.

In other Rockets news, they are adding to their roster on the perimeter, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.


  1. dannymac17 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    get this guy out of the league. take the money you have given him and give it to someone who wants to play.

    what a bum

    • vanmorrissey - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Yep, just sounds like he doesn’t want to play no matter what anyone says. Don’t pay him and then see what he says. Don’t want to play, don’t pay, simple, let the union get involved which they undoubtedly will.

      • dannymac17 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        im all for securing help for mental disorders, but when is he gonna take responsibility? im banking on never and he should fell off all draft boards. He was never a first round talent anyway. Sucks for the Rockets and their fans. Im also assuming thats why the went out and got Harden cause they knew this dude was a clown.

      • badintent - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        ‘Can’t practice with him, can’t play with him , can win with him “……Coach Mike

      • badintent - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        My bad , should “be can’t win with him”

  2. timb12 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    The Rockets knew about his anxiety problem before they drafter him, but I don’t think they anticipated all of this. Just from the reports I feel like his ego is becoming more of a problem than his disorder. But again, I don’t know all of the facts.

  3. jimsjam33 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Refuses ? Cause for termination . It’s time .

    • captainwisdom8888 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      So much time and money goes into a team and their draft. It must be so embarrassing for the rockets to get less than zero production from a mid first rounder, while having to constantly deal with his issues publicly. Ouch

  4. sellahh - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    “t is true that accommodating mental health can be very tough and complex, however, sometimes the only reasonable solution to doing what is right is doing what is tough”
    Yeah, refusing to accept your team’s policy and throwing everyone under the bus sure sounds like a tough thing to do.

  5. sunsation3413 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I dont have all the facts either but how was it he was able to go to college and play the college schedule and go to class? Now he has some money he is barely able to leave the house? He refuses to go play in the D League?o Come on man!!!!! Just seems he is really milking it here. My guess is he never plays in the league. I would assume even though his rookie contract is guaranteed the Rockets should be able to get their money back from insurance for his “disability”. Take it and run Rockets. You dont need this drama!

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      In college he did attend classes and did not miss any games due to his disorder. That is part of the reason why the Rockets thought they could make it work.

  6. nghtrder169 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    This fool knew his own condition and should have never entered the NBA draft… Give the money back and go do something else.

  7. btwicey - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Man, enough of the scripted PA notes already – let the players talk

    • cosanostra71 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      He does that on his twitter. It’s even worse than that statement too.

  8. kvvvv2391 - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    If the Rockets pay this nutcase another penny… f- him. He can go flip burgers at McDonald’s. F-him. #Nutjob

  9. raidmagic - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    He refuses to do his job void the contract and send him on his way

  10. minnesota32 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    He’s trying to set a precedent to pave the way for others with anxiety disorders and promote awareness in the league. What he’s actually doing is ruining it for anybody else who has anxiety issues because they will either keep it under wraps like they have in the past, or teams will look at Royce White as exhibit A for not drafting players with similar disorders.

  11. newyorkfootballjets - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Why do i get the feeling this has something to do with pot . How bout being a man and get over your fear of flying . Effin child

  12. pacific123ocean - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    What exactly are the doctors recommendations that the Rockets are refusing to follow?

  13. abchome - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    He has to have some other mental problems besides this anxiety disorder.

  14. twoseam2007 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I don’t know anything obviously, but I do know that playing in the NBA is an opportunity that almost no one gets. To squander that opportunity by waging a publicity war with your employer, to me, is just ridiculous. Players are replaceable. Royce White might win the battle if his goal is to slam the Rockets organization to no end, but if his goal was to play for the Rockets, let alone another NBA team, he has likely lost the war. Someone needs to tell him he’s blowing a special opportunity that comes to so, so few.

  15. scoregasmic - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    If he thinks they aren’t doing enough to help him they should just cut him and say they did it so he could get help. He’s lost having the fans on his side with his rants so there is no harm to the Rockets in letting him go

  16. haterhurter937 - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    flush that terd already!

  17. mazblast - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Kid, get your head out of your arse and play some ball, even if it’s in the D-League. At the rate you’re going, you’ll be lucky to be playing in Serbia, Turkey, or Poland.

  18. conjecture101 - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Went I saw “ugh” in the title of this blog post i knew immediately it was Kurt Helin. My question is why Kurt Helin feels the entitlement to police the actions of professional athletes. Dude; your a blogger.

    • conjecture101 - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      *you’re. Since I know your inability to refute my argument will lead you to criticizing my grammar.

      • pl4tinum514 - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:27 PM

        Who cares who wrote the article, or what his opinion was. It was a good article. If you dont like it, you know what you can do.

      • strlngsilver - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        Well if you are expecting someone to correct your grammar, you may want to look at your first sentence. Went I saw “ugh”?? Rather than make rude comments, maybe you should learn how to spell and spell check. Its just common sense. I know if i am taking the time to degrade someone’s comments, I make sure all my punctuation and spelling’s are correct.. Just common courtesy.

      • conjecture101 - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        yea, I can criticize it. Something I learned in 2nd grade.

  19. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    For this fool to lecture doing what’s tough? Get your seat on a plane. And for the record, many athletes, even some of the greatest, struggled with air travel.

    • derekjetersmansion - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Wayne Gretzky among athletes who hated flying.

      • metalhead65 - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Greyzky also never refused to do what he was being to do because of it did he?

      • derekjetersmansion - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Well, Royce’s problem seems to be bigger than just flying. Unless it’s not.

  20. conjecture101 - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Morey knew the risk when drafting this kid, and now he doesn’t want to take responsibility for that risk.

  21. derekjetersmansion - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    What does Royce want out of this?

    • pacific123ocean - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Royce wants playing time…and, not D-League playing time.

  22. metalhead65 - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    suspend him without pay for conduct detrimental to the team. and refusing to follow orders falls under that category in my book. yes the rockets knew he had problems but they also set him up with professional help which he refused to follow so I do not blame the team at all. they should not just release him so he can decide that he wants to play for another team and suddenly have a break thru and start showing why the rockets wanted him. the rockets should make this last as long as possible so he does not get his way. fight him and the union all the way to the supreme court if necessary but stand up this clown! he signed a contract which means he agreed to the terms of that contract and I would imagine doing what they paid him for would be part of the contract. if he wants to give back the money they gave him then cut him loose but other wise screw this whack job!

  23. edwardemanuelson - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Spurs fan here. Rocket fans, fear not, this guy will be out of your hair soon enough.

    You’re getting a good, young, skilled hustle guy in James Anderson. Give him minutes and you will not be sorry!

  24. allen227 - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    This guy is a clown. Release his ass and be done with him.

  25. 00maltliquor - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I’ve been trying to be patient and understanding with this young man, but with the way things have all unfolded since RW being drafted, any modicum of respect I had for him has now just went out the airplane window. I hope the Rockets can cut him and not even have to pay him a dime for refusing to work. Sucks ’cause Royce could have been a darn good player too with his skill set.

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