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Royce White says he’s ‘in a different place’ after making NBA debut with Kings

Mar 22, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Royce White AP

Royce White made his NBA debut for the Kings on Friday night, and for the first time on the professional level, it was something that didn’t involve one bit of controversy or strife.

White has a well-documented anxiety disorder that made (and may still make) life as a professional basketball player a challenge, but that alone wasn’t the reason he found himself out of the league before Sacramento signed him to consecutive 10-day contracts. He was combative throughout the process in Houston, and did more harm than good while speaking publicly about his situation on a consistent basis.

White played just 56 seconds on Friday, and didn’t contribute to the box score. But it was a start, and he said afterward he’s in a different place now, which hopefully will allow him to find a fit in his new situation.

From Scott Howard-Cooper of

“It feels a lot different. In all fairness to Houston, they were in a much different position. A lot of things, they couldn’t make a ruling on themselves as much as the league. They had to wait on a lot of OKs and things from people. It was a real complex situation. But it feels very different. Everything’s different. The organization’s different, the city’s different, the people are different, my teammates are different.”

“Are you different?”

“I’m probably the least different out of the entire equation,” White said. “But I’m in a different place. I’m definitely feeling more comfortable with the ability to have a successful career in this league.”

The Rockets selected White with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and did so because despite his issues, he’s believed to be talented enough to play professionally. Initially, White wanted everyone to bend over backwards to accommodate him. Now, it seems like he may be willing to put some effort into making things work from his side.

  1. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I could play 56 seconds in the NBA haha what a waste of talent, time and money. See you back in Hopkins Royce!

  2. timb12 - Mar 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Did him saying he’s the least different bother anyone else? He’s not taking accountability for how his previous situations played out. Like the rockets wanted to waste the 16th pick.

    • kinggw - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Not at all, and why should it bother you? How is he not being accountable? His first responsibility is to himself and his family, not a basketball organization that will throw you away as soon as you are not useful to them.

      He didn’t do anything wrong. White’s disorder well was well documented. Whatever team drafted White, they knew what they were getting. Morey and the Rockets thought they could bully White into dealing with his illness they way they thought he should and White wasn’t going to let that happen. I respect the fact that White stood up for what he believed. Perhaps he should not have been as vocal throughout the process, but he did bring some much needed awareness to his illness.

      • timb12 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        It just shows immaturity, to me. While he may not have been 100% to blame for the Houston situation, he should take some responsibility.

      • kclanton80 - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Sorry I can’t agree with this at all. Royce White came in the league making demands about how he was to be treated and what he wanted. I don’t remember any bullying from the Rockets at all. If anything they showed incredible restraint and patience in trying to accommodate him.

        He actually went into very little detail about what his “illness” is and how best to handle it. People have been left guessing from the start about what to do to make the situation work. The rocket even had difficulty getting himt to report to their d league team.

        Still, he got a second chance in Philly from a former rockets front office man in Sam hienke. All he did was come in out of shape and unmotivated to make the team. On to the kings now and i have very little faith that he will be able to stick there.

        It’s a privilege to play in the NBA not a right. The NBA doesn’t owe him anything! It’s is a business that requires travel. Like any other career, you must be able to meet the jobs requirements to have the position. It’s a shame he has a fear of flying but how many chances should he get? Especially when has a poor attitude and acted arrogant and entitled about the whole thing. Beyond that, he hasn’t even shown a glimmer of possibly being….. ummm you know a good basketball player.

  3. spyder9669 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    If he says that he’s alot different b would refute everything he’s been saying all this time. He has to say he hasn’t changed so everybody will still think hes crippled with anxiety

  4. jazz11001 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    The problem is in the fact that his illness cannot be seen like a broken leg woul. Very few people are understanding of how crippling anxiety can be to the mental health of a person timb12 says that it shows immaturity and to a degree I think it does but my guess is the when you have anxiety you would have a hard time maturing mentally as opposed to physically so in a sense of how he interacts with people it may still need work but hell the kid ain’t 25 yet so the maturity will come. Invisible handicaps like this will always be misunderstood. Good luck Royce, you got this far and should be extremely proud of yourself.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Royce White just recorded his first trillion! And the first one I’ve seen in a while. That’s 1 minute played followed by nine 0’s on the stat sheet.

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      If that impresses you then you should catch some Nets games. Jason Collins is hands down the master of the “trillion”, he makes it look easy.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:03 AM


  6. metalhead65 - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    how about you guys in the media stop wasting time on this clown until he actually does something to write about about besides playing less than a min. in a game? if he was really so concerned about his ‘condition” he would not worry about playing ball and get the treatment he needs to get it under control so he can do what he is getting paid to do. he said and did all the right things for the rockets to draft him and as soon as he signed his contract he balked at any and everything they tried to do for him. do you seriously think they wasted a high draft pick on him without doing some research on the kid? he knew the plan they had for him when they drafted him but as soon as he got his money his “condition” made him unable to do what was required for him to play. did not stop him from cashing the checks but that was ok right? he is a bum using his “condition” to scam teams out of money by telling them he is getting better at each stop and scamming them for whatever he can get. there are allot of regular people out there who suffer from the same thing but hold down jobs while being treated for it and not using it as an excuse.

  7. 00maltliquor - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    “I’m in a different place”

    No sht Sherlock, you moved from the East coast to the West coast. That’s about all that’s different.

  8. spursareold - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Royce White’s main problem isn’t anxiety disorder, it’s narcissism.

  9. genericcommenter - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    He’s a young guy. I wish him well growing up. I have a similar disorder, and I wouldn’t have handled it any better at his age. That said, in retrospect I can see a lot of the same faults I had- ones perhaps tangentially related to the disorder, but not the “fault” of the disorder. Hope that makes sense. In other words, I think a lot of the criticism is fair and I think he knows it. It’s one thing to bring attention to a cause, and it’s another to do something about it. I’ve said from the beginning that it’s nice to have a celebrity bring some attention to anxiety disorders, but it would be much better if the story has an element of triumph in overcoming the disorder and not just using it as an excuse. When I was younger I skated by on my (since diminished) looks and potential. I had an older long-term GF in the psychiatric field, and she used to try to tell me that I was falling back on the “benefits” I received from my anxiety. I didn’t want to hear that. I grew to resent her and think she was a terrible person, but she had some good insights.

  10. sixerstrong - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    “I’m probably the least different out of the entire equation.”

    This should be a GIANT red flag to Sac fans. Without a doubt the kid has an incredibly unique talent, and I really liked watching him in the pre-season, but he doesn’t look like his heart is in it. As someone who also suffers from an anxiety disorder, I sincerely wish him the best, but until his attitude changes, he’s never going to mature in basketball or in life.

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