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Royce White making 100 flights in a season? ‘Hell no,’ he says

Jul 13, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Rockets White Basketball

The Rockets knew what they were getting when they drafted Royce White, and even more so, the 76ers knew what they were getting when they traded for him.

White is, I think, a talented player, but I can’t say that with much certainty, because he’s never played in the NBA. His anxiety issues, which include a fear of flying, complicated his relationship with Houston as a rookie last year, and they’re not going away in Philadelphia.

Randy Peterson of USA Today:

Royce White is ready to play in the NBA, probably for the Philadelphia 76ers, once the trade from Houston becomes official.But making 100 plane flights during a season?”Hell no,” the former Iowa State basketball star said after playing for the Walnut Creek YMCA Wednesday night in the YMCA Capital City League at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.”One hundred flights would be like if you’re allergic to peanut butter – it’d be like spreading your whole body with it.”

I wish White the best, both personally and professionally. He’s clearly struggling to balance both aspects of his life.Unfortunately, his NBA career is passing him by. White’s team can do its best to accommodate him, but on a fundamental level, NBA players must fly to get to games. If White can’t do that, there’s not a spot for him in the league.I’d love to see the big forward with point-guard skills in action, but there are still so many hurdles to clear. Frankly, I’m a little surprised a team took him off Houston’s hands – unless the 76ers accepted White’s salary to get the rights to Furkan Aldemir.I wouldn’t close the book on White’s NBA career, but this statement shows how far there is to even getting it started.

  1. JMClarkent - Jul 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    This man will make an excellent playground legend some day.

  2. hatesycophants - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I work with physically and developmentally disabled adults and young adults with mental illness, Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. Combating these illnesses takes patience, compassion and toughness. Fear of flying is irrational and can be defeated. It doesn’t sound as if this guy believes that. He needs a psychiatrist, a hypnotist and a pharmacist or he needs to find a different profession.

  3. 13arod - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Just take a train then

  4. scdocal - Jul 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Horrible analogy. Peanut butter will kill someone allergic to it whereas getting on a plane will not. This guy is a head case and will soon find himself out of the league

  5. dirtydrew - Jul 13, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    What, he can’t use a Madden Cruser?

  6. jeff6381 - Jul 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    He wont be in the league after his contract expires so he better be saving those checks he’s getting. He has an disorder we get it but that shouldn’t be used all the time as an excuse to get his way.

  7. johnheisman - Jul 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    If he is good enough and the team can use him, he could certainly give them 50 to 60 games with no flying. All the home games plus away games with the Knicks, Nets and Wizards. If not back to back, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit probably others. Long trips like a road trip to Miami and Orlando, Atlanta.

    It seems to me that between home and regional away games he could have the opprotunity contribute enough to the team. In addition, I would not rule out that treatment could help him in the future his anixety.

    As far as team chemistry is concerened, he clearly would be treated differently and obviously miss practices on the road AND at home depending on his return travel plans.

  8. program33 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    Don’t get it twisted. The man can ball….but it’s just a matter of time.

    • shingding1 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Can he? Well that makes NO difference being stuck in a developmental league.

    • addictedzone - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      It’s not a matter of time. It’s a matter of place. And for him the local YMCA seems to be the appropriate place going forward.

  9. program33 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    I do not understand the logic of the owners that are “receiving” in this particular case. Can someone explain. Please provide examples. Thanks.

  10. fnc111 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    This guy is just an insubordinate mf-er. What a loser.

  11. fnc111 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    This guy is just an insubordinate. What a ____.

  12. jjthesportsguy - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    I wouldn’t get paid if I claimed I was too scared of car rides to go to work. Why is this guy getting paid for not doing his job?

  13. bbk1000 - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    How did they treat B.A. Baracus on the A-Team? I think they’d knock him out for the flight.

    Whether it be drugs, alcohol or a nut punch, he wakes up in the next city, end of issue.

  14. louhudson23 - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I believe wholeheartedly that his condition is genuine.If he does not find a way to overcome his condition soon,he will be a former NBA player,being unable to fulfil the requirements of his preferred profession….If no one signs him at the end of his contract,then he will be S.O.L. on the NBA,just like me,just for different reason…..

    • shingding1 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Saying “hello” no is only reinforcing what he’s fearful of. Thus, he’ll never overcome it. Sounds like he’s not getting any cog behav therapy.

  15. shingding1 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Anyone who says “hell no” to job requirements or duties wouldn’t have a job long after. The same applies to White. He won’t be around the league for much longer.

  16. crillbill - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Maybe the NBA could reschedule phili games next year to be closer in proximity.

  17. tcclark - Jul 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Has anyone actually done the math? Royce said he would fly just not a hundred times. Last time i checked teams only play 41 away games per year. Even if they did fly to and from each game that would only be 82 flights per year. There’s still 18 flights for wiggle room and the team’s not making the playoffs. That’s not to mention the 8 Games in Boston, Washington, Brooklyn, and New York that could easily be driven to or games in Toronto, Charlotte, and Cleveland that wouldn’t be an excessive drive. I can see a scenario where he would have to fly a 100 times.

  18. sjbrown8 - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I work in higher education and come across students with disabilities really often.
    When I am working with career issues with students with disabilities, it’s a given that there are some careers they just cannot consider because of their disability. They know it better than me and usually these students voice their limitations.

    Royce White’s accommodations can only go so far; as the author of this article states, frequent travel is a fundamental part of the NBA. If you feel that it is impossible to fly due to your disability, then it’s very possible that the NBA isn’t a good fit for you.

    A better analogy would be this: being in the NBA with a fear of flying is like being a legally deaf police officer. It just…doesn’t…fit.

  19. chunkala - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I don’t understand why the writer is wishing him the best. I am definitely doing the opposite because the man is clearly insane. Just buy a tour bus like Madden used to travel in. It’ll be harder on him physically but he won’t be flying.

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