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Royce White speaks out on situation, says trade is not answer

Jan 3, 2013, 1:55 PM EDT

Royce White AP

For a lot of fans who know mostly of the Royce White situation via twitter, here is first thing they noticed during White’s interview with the Off The Dribble show on Sirius XM:

He’s not some irrational, crazy lunatic.

He always was rational and measured if you heard him speak, but his portrayal has moved another direction. In part because of his own rants on twitter, which can come off as unhinged, as well as his own public statements slamming the Rockets.

But his Thursday radio interview he made it clear it’s not personal, he sees this as the kind of workplace safety issue we’ve all seen around the office.

The other thing that becomes clear is this is all about power and who has it.

“This is about who — in general — has executive authority in medical situations…” White said during the interview with Justin Termine and former NBA player Mateen Cleaves. “Right now a GM does not have to listen to the medical advice of even his own doctors.”

What White talked about continually is having a protocol in place. He wants the doctors to put in place a protocol that clearly gives him a lot more power and leeway in how he is dealt with by the organization, something White says the doctors want. The organization, as one might imagine, is not looking to give up power and create new precedents in what is a very bottom line business.

White remained vague on the details about what he wants, save to say it was about how he is handled by the organization. He said the travel situation was not at the heart of the issue now. He also said that he did not report to the D-League because that was a change from the plans he and the team had been working on (something the team has denied).

“There’s right and there’s wrong, and there’s safe and not safe, and right now things are not safe,” White said.

But White did not come off as bitter — despite not having received a paycheck yet due to the fines he has incurred.

“I think everybody should understand this situation is about being medically logical,” White said. “This is not about the Rockets trying to screw me over or the me trying to screw the Rockets over.”

He talked about this being sort of a trail blazing situation.

“I feel that this is a new situation and everybody involved has real growing pains. And that’s what they are experience here,” White said, adding that usually mental issues in the NBA were dealt with on the back end after they were a problem and not proactively.

Which I would say is sort of true, but the reality is that teams will put up with a lot of crap from someone (say, Dennis Rodman) if he can produce on the court. Once that production slides there is less tolerance. And White has yet to produce anything.

Plenty of Rockets fans are calling for him to be traded, something not likely because Houston couldn’t get anything for him even if they wanted to move him, and there are no signs they do.

“I don’t see how going to another team will help anything, the protocol still needs to be in place. It’s not Houston’s fault…” White said. “I want to be in Houston. I love the city and the fans I’ve met in person have been supportive.”

White admitted there is a chance he would never play in the NBA. He said it worked in college because there were fewer games and far less travel — he had 15 flights in college, there were 96 scheduled flights for the Rockets this season.

Listening to White didn’t make this sound any closer to getting dealt with. He feels that this stand is something he has to take, the Rockets are not looking like they are going to make more concessions. White may not play for this season at least, maybe longer.

Which in the end feels irrational for everyone involved.

  1. timb12 - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Why couldn’t he have done this instead of using twitter and hashtagging things? This makes him seem like less of a diva, but I still feel like things should have been worked out by now. He needs to remember he’s working for the Rockets, they’re not working for him.

  2. bobulated - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    The ADA provides for “reasonable accommodation”. As someone who has been in management I know from experience that the interpretation of that phrase varies widely. We had an employee who felt she was allergic to all artificial scents (although she had no medical proof) and demanded that no one in the 60+ people office wear perfume, cologne or even scented deodorants as a “reasonable accommodation”. Obviously what seemed to so reasonable to her was not reasonable to her co-workers.
    So while White might think he’s being reasonable, the Rockets obviously feel otherwise as travel via flying to other cities is considered part of the job of being a pro ball player. White might be better served playing in Europe somewhere where trains are a reasonable alternative.

    • badintent - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      I would have sprayed Crux on my groin and made sure I walked past her desk every hour on the hour and sued her if she had told me not to use it for jock itch.What goes on in my pants stays in my pants, and I got the Jewish Lawyers to back it up. It’s part of my First , Second, and the next 10 Amendment Rights.I could sue 90 % of the hoes in my gym for using perfume, underarm roll on,Summer Eve’s Douche, etc.The Smell Seals will locate the target and take them out !! No more Double Standards. No Prisioners !
      White can play in China. The Chinese know what to do with malcontents. Jail or the end game Wall.

  3. crillbill - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I’m not a rocket fan, but they should be compensated for this pick and set this idiot free.

    • kinggw - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      You should go play in traffic.

      The Rockets knew what they were getting when they selected White. It’s good that he is more concerned with his long term health than his basketball career which may be short-lived anyway. White seems to have his priorities right, which is not the norm for athletes his age.

      • dannymac17 - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        You sound like a tool.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      The Rockets knew they were taking a chance which is why he was still available to them. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

  4. thomaskouns - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    White has always been highly intelligent and highly manipulative.

    His behavior goes way beyond simple mental illness but no one wants to say it for fear of sounding unsympathetic. He frequently uses it as a crutch and a means to justifying his behavior and getting what he wants.

    He pretty much destroyed my college’s program doing exactly what he’s doing now.

  5. daveversusshark - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Can’t do the job? Find another line of work. Rookies get designated to the D-League everyday. Seems White is the one who isn’t being accomodating.

  6. rajbais - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    No. Terminating year #3 & 4 of his contract before year #2 (CBA approved, but never after that time) and ultimately waiving him will.

    When years #3&4 are gone before #2 , you’re not worth it.

  7. tdbj89 - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    This idiot knew what he was signing up for I don’t want to hear him cry and whine about travel

  8. Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Why can’t he just go away and play in Spain or something, so he can take the bus or train everywhere? Or China?

  9. drycanada - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    I feel for the guy. Getting panic attacks and having constant anxiety are two of the worst things ever. If he has problems traveling and flying, how do you all expect him to get over to Europe or China? I’m rooting for him to get it figured out or his doctors to be able to help him get things right in his head.

    • tubal22 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      These magically appeared when he got sent to the D-League…. He was playing in preseason games just fine.

      White is a tool.

  10. dko83 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    I used to feel for this guy.. but am absolutely sick of hearing his constant whining (his Twitter posts make him sound like such a victim, come on). Go away, just go away. Take your meds and get on the #&$^%^ plane. Valium will make you sleep the whole flight (I know b/c it works for my flying anxiety). You’ve been replaced by an undrafted guy anyway. Report to the D League, keep collecting your checks, and stfu.

  11. danielcp0303 - Jan 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I’d just be happy being able to watch Rockets games, which currently isn’t possible. CSN Houston sucks

  12. cooladrian22 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    His palms are sweaty, knees weak arms are heavy, there’s vomit it on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti’s… he’s nervous, but on the surface he looks scared but steady, cuz he ain’t gettin on that plane, he ain’t ready!

  13. abchome - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    He’s doing a big disservice to people suffering anxiety disorder. I can imagine people, and employers, avoiding people with similar condition after seeing the problems he’s creating.

  14. glink123 - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Agreed. Dude acts like there’s been a steady flow of mentally ill players coming into the NBA. He’s the first, and last to ever be drafted with this condition he has. The NBA owners simply have zero interest in all the overhead.

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