HANG TIME, Texas — While he has never stepped once onto the court in an official game during an ongoing dispute with the Rockets, rookie Royce White now says there is a good chance his NBA career is already over. He blames the league for the lack of protocol on mental health issues, which include his generalized anxiety disorder.
“I think that the chances are very high,” White told Justin Termine and former NBA player Mateen Cleaves in an interview on Sirius/XM radio. “I say that just like I said before the draft that the chances were very high that I didn’t even get drafted. Because business in America, as we all know, is about one thing and that’s convenience and efficiency. Often times what the efficient thing to do is not the healthiest thing to do, right? It wouldn’t shock me if we couldn’t be logical and say a protocol is needed because it’ll be the hard thing to do. If that’s the case then so be it. I stand on what I say and I refuse to put myself in a hazardous situation to play a sport.”
White has said in the past that the Rockets, who selected him with the No. 16 pick in the draft, have been inconsistent with their support, untruthful in handling his situation and are not following the recommendations of the doctors he’s consulted in making a plan for him to join the team.
White said playing for another NBA team is not a solution, because there is no league-wide protocol for mental health issues.
“I don’t see that going to another team would help anything because no matter what team I go to a protocol is still going to need to be put in place,” he said. “It’s a league thing. The reality is that it is not Houston’s fault.
“I don’t really think going to another team is something that would be better. And it’s not something that I want to do. I want to play for Houston.”
White has been apart from teammates since the second week of the regular season. He underwent individual workouts at Toyota Center last week when the Rockets were on the road. The club then tried to assign him to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League, as the second part of a plan to return. But White released a statement the following day saying he would not accept the D-League assignment.
The Rockets will not comment on their internal dealings with White.