HOUSTON — Nothing is ever as it seems for very long in the ongoing saga of Royce White and the Rockets.
Barely half a day after the team issued a release saying the rookie had been assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers, White issued his own statement that calls that news untrue and questions the sincerity of the Rockets organization.
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.
The 6-foot-8 forward out of Iowa State, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, has been at odds with the Rockets due to what he claims is their unwillingness to accommodate his condition. The team had re-worked his contract to make provisions for White to sometimes travel between games by bus, since anxiety about flying is one of the symptoms of his illness.
White did not report to the Rockets’ training camp in Hidalgo, Tex, home to the Vipers and, after getting no playing time in the first five games of the regular season, he went AWOL following a game at Memphis on Nov. 9. He remained at odds with the club when management insisted that he attend therapy sessions with a psychologist of their choosing, but has since agreed to terms and evidently been working to heal the wounds.
White resumed working out at the Toyota Center during the past week while the Rockets have been on the road. It was believed that an agreement to go to the D-League was part of a multi-week plan to fully integrate White back into the Rockets organization.