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Royce White makes preseason debut for Sixers

Oct 12, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Royce White AP

The Royce White saga entered a new chapter on Friday, when the troubled former first round draft pick of the Rockets made his debut for the Sixers.

Although it was only the preseason, it marked the first time White had played NBA minutes this year (he did play in the preseason last year). He struggled in Houston during his rookie season not only with a debilitating anxiety disorder that comes with it a well-documented fear of flying, but also with the organization on how he should be handled.

White eventually played 16 games in the D-League, and averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest. Not amazing numbers at that level by any stretch, but it was a start. The same could be said for White’s Sixers debut, although his performance there was far below average.

From Jason Wolf of USA Today:

White (6-8, 260) finished with five points, three rebounds and five personal fouls in just less than 10 minutes on the court. The power forward picked up his first four fouls in less than three minutes in the first quarter, two while trying to set picks.

“I was happy to be out there,” White said. “I didn’t think I played well. I’m still not making plays that are routine for me … but it’s just a feel thing, getting a feel back.”

If nothing else, White was honest in his self-assessment.

Put simply, White was mostly brutal in his 9:40 on the court. In addition to the ridiculous number of fouls in such a short span, he ran around largely without purpose, and the four shots he missed out of his six attempts were wildly inaccurate, without even the slightest chance of falling through the net.

The bright side for White is that he isn’t deluding himself about how much he needs to improve, so with some hard work he may be able to reach the potential that GM Sam Hinkie sees in him. It’s also worth noting that given the roster construction and lack of expectations to win this season, if White is ever going to find success at the NBA level, Philadelphia and the patience they’ll have with him this season is undoubtedly the place.

  1. mungman69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    If he won’t fly how much can he help a team?

  2. mungman69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    If he won’t fly how much can he help a team?

  3. allday420ap - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    the saga continues, wu tang, wu tang

  4. ausar02 - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Royce White has got to be one of the worst NBA players I’ve ever seen. If I put together a bottom 50 of all time he would most definitely be on it. If the Sixers want to tank, they’ve got a secret weapon right here.

  5. pike573 - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Anxiety order aside, that’s not what you want to see from a former first round pick.

  6. northstarnic - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    What isn’t mentioned here is that, after going up particularly high for a rebound, he panicked. Upon landing he scurried to the sideline and hid under a chair.

  7. bmcky - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Give him time I hope he can do something positive, he at least deserves an opportunity! Even with the anxiety,

  8. stayhigh_247 - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    why would a team take a chance on a guy like this? any why would you enter the draft knowing you dont fly? umm, dumb & dumber.

  9. mackcarrington - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    “If I can start and play around 40 minutes a game, my anxiety disorder will go away.”

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 13, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      What is this extortion now?

  10. metalhead65 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    he is saying all the right things now but when the season starts and the team needs him he will use the anxiety excuse again and miss most of the season. when will teams realize he is only doing this for a free paycheck? he picked the perfect team this year because the sixers will suck with or without him and apparently they like throwing money away on players with potential but with medical issues or in this case mental ones. and if he is so great shouldn’t he be able to contribute more when he does decide to play? just sad that he keeps getting these chances and taking a roster spot from a guy who actually cares and loves the game.

    • somekat - Oct 13, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Sixers took this guy as a throw in, the European kid (can’t think of his name) was the target of the trade. Houston needed to dump White’s salary to clear space for Howard

      It isn’t like the Sixers made a trade thinking White would pan out. They are just bad enough that if he does get his head on right, there’s no reason he shouldn’t get some minutes this year.

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 13, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        If the Sixers are really tanking, he’ll get even more minutes.

  11. somekat - Oct 13, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    This should be easy. 2 Xanax, 2 shots, wake him when you land. what is the problem? There are enough teams clustered that he should be able to play at least 3/4 of his games without actually having to fly, but he is still going to have to do it sometimes. especially time when they on the road on consecutive nights, or out west. The only place in the division he can’t drive is Toronto, and technically he COULD if they had a day off before. (No point in mentioning playoffs with Philly)

    If that’s not good enough, he doesn’t have the psychological makeup for an NBA player anyway

  12. scoobyeleven - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I say they take a lesson from the A-team. B.A. Baracus hated to fly, but the seem to get him on the plane all the time. Just knock out white when he finds out he needs to go onto a plane. “Royce, you fell asleep and we drove here. I cannot believe you slept so long”. “Royce, we are still in Philly, this isn’t MIami”.

  13. louhudson23 - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Anxiety/flying issues aside,it is hard to understand how a player in his position is not sharp and ready to play when given any opportunity whatsoever. The game is basketball,and if you are a player,particularly one who has struggled as much as he has,then there is no excuse for being rusty and unprepared…..take the bus to wherever you need to find a game and play,and play and play and be prepared to show what you are all about when given the chance..if indeed your priority is to be an NBA player and if indeed you face an uphill battle in doing so….

  14. xLith - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    It’s a wonder how he got all of those tattoos with his “Anxiety Disorder”.

    • mackcarrington - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Apparently, he’s only afraid of flying and not needles.

  15. spursareold - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I’ll be interested in his reaction when Philly fails to pick up his year 3 option, which is due in a few weeks.

  16. jazynaz - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    don’t guys usually keep in shape by going to camps, practicing with teammates, etc during their off season? with his “wildly inaccurate shots”, it sounds like he hasn’t even been shooting or playing pick up games or anything. lucky him for even having a team try him out during training and preseason with his obstinate/uncooperative history. with the $$$ teams pay players, they should have the right to require what ever they want out of their employees…royce white included!

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