Royce White was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the first round of this year’s draft. His talent level implied a higher draft position, but his anxiety disorder scared most teams away. The Rockets were fully aware of White’s problem but thought they could help him and reap the benefits of his talent.
It hasn’t worked out as planned, for either side. White hasn’t played a minute in the NBA, and he already said “no” to his first D-League assignment. Now, he’s done it again. He released a statement, which you can read in full, here. Here’s a snippet:
(Sic) it saddens and frightens me to know that in this situation all the decision makers involved have been informed of all the medical dynamics, and yet still refuse to adhere to medical sensibility. In hindsight of the recent tragedies in this country, that had mental illness variables, you would think it would encourage people to act more proactively in that arena…
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…
To portray that the Rockets have been supportive to me is fundamentally incorrect.
The information that the Houston Rockets have publicly presented about this situation has been extremely misleading and a lot of times totally inaccurate. An image of support has been presented by the Rockets, but the only logical support here would be listening to the recommendation of the medical professionals involved. That has not totally happened here. I have chosen to not play, because the doctors and I believe it to be unsafe for unqualified Rockets front office personnel to make medical decisions, as they are not mental health professionals.”
I don’t know if White is being victimized here, or if he’s being selfish and using his disorder as a crutch. His references are all vague. He doesn’t give any examples. I don’t have any inside knowledge here, and I don’t think too many people outside of White’s inner circle or the Rockets front-office are informed enough to judge.
Regardless of who’s right, I’m sure all of us (reasonable people) can agree that this is sad, and that we hope both sides figure it out, communicate more effectively, and that White eventually gets his shot at playing in the NBA.