Rockets Suspend Royce White As Perplexing Saga Takes Another Twist

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST — Watching Houston Rockets rookie Royce White‘s promising pro career crashing before it starts with one perplexing mishap after another has been nothing short of remarkably sad.

His chances of ever playing for the Rockets this season or beyond took another turn in the wrong direction Sunday with the team announcing that it has suspended the 6-foot-8 forward out of Iowa State. The suspension, which will withhold paychecks from the 16th overall draft pick, comes one week after White refused to report for assignment with the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as requires by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets general manger Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”

Morey and White, 21, were unable to reach an agreement during talks this week.

White, whose contract is guaranteed for $3 million through his first two seasons, suffers from an anxiety disorder that includes a fear of flying. He has consistently railed against the team’s handling of his disorder and he recently said during an appearance on on a SiriusXM basketball program that until the Rockets deliver a proper protocol for dealing with mental health care, chances are “very high” that he will never play in the NBA.

“The reality is that it is not Houston’s fault,” White said on the program. “As much as we always want to try and blame one side or the other … they’ve been thrown into a position now where they’re forced to make things up as they go because a protocol has not been put in place for mental health up until this point.”

White also said: “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.”

It’s impossible to determine where this saga is headed next, but clearly it continues to go down a dark road for White, the Rockets and the NBA. Is this a call for the NBA to place a greater focus on the treatment of mental health issues and the needs of some of its players? Definitely, just as it is for the country as a whole.

But White must also realize that in any other profession, he will not, for one, command nearly the earning power, and more importantly, he still won’t be able to dictate terms of his employment. Few other places in society offer the luxuries of medical, training and other support staffs that NBA franchises afford.

It’s confusing as to what protocol will satisfy White. In the SiriusXM interview, he suggests that any NBA team would be in the same boat as the Rockets.

“There’s no mental health protocol here, for not only the Rockets but the entire league, really,” White said. “I expressed that that’s really unsafe if you think about it. So, basically, I’m fighting to have that rectified. I just don’t think it is OK or responsible or even logical to have GMs or any front office personnel have executive authority in medical situations.”

So now the paychecks stop for White, who has yet to play a game for the Rockets. His status as a first-round draft pick is quickly turning into an unfortunate footnote.


  1. Jimmy V says:

    I think many people placing judgement on this young man, have no idea what an anxiety disorder really is. If the Rockets were a “smart” organization, they would have given him a psych evaluation during his “work-out” which most players get invited to prior to draft day Then they could have said “no way, this will not work”. White is a mental patient, meaning he is sick (since when to we start listening to those that are mentally ill to make multi-million $ decisions) And this is only Royce White and his particular form of mental illness. Would players like Meta World Peace, hall of famer Dennis Rodman, or Chamique Holdsclaw have benefitted from some sort of mental health protocol.

  2. dlon says:

    500K well thats how much my love ones will get if i die while in service ( war etc)

  3. Connorf says:

    Royce White’s best bet would be to go to the Celtics, Nets, Knicks,76ers or Wizards. Half his games would be at home, then these three cities are close to each other and he could drive a car to get there. If he played for the Celtics he could drive to New York for four away games against the Nets and Knicks, two away games in D.C. against the Wizards, and two away games against Philadelphia. That is eight away games easily accessible by car and 41 home games leaving only 33 away games he needs to fly to. His best bet is to sign with the Celtics or a Northeast team because these cities are close to each other and he can drive to four opponents’ cities. And there is less flying by plane in the northeast because even the farther away cities aren’t as far as it would be from Houston or the west or northwest. Flying from Boston to Cleveland, Toronto, North Carolina, Atlanta is not that long. The Celtics only have two western road trips per year. So a northeast team is Royce White’s best hope.

  4. decax says:

    As much as i admire the “carrier of the flame” mentality, i hate to see a miss informed young man fail. The fight would carry more weight if more players were affected by your disorder; however in a leage with over 300 players it does not make sense to change protocol for one or each individual player’s needs. IT is hard out there, and you have made it into a profeesion with earnings which you would most likely never be able to receive again, so my suggestion is that you do whatever you can to get back to work, even if you have to pay for it yourself. Work hard, become a star, and maybe try to fight it again then.

  5. Jumppong says:

    the solution is he must join Fear Factor..

  6. Winston says:

    Some comments here are saying that people should understand his condition and blah…blah..Look, we understand the mental condition. What we don’t understand is, why on earth did he apply for the draft knowing that he’s not capable of complying with the demands. What? He’s expecting all teams to resolve it for him? Tell me if that’s being fair.

  7. AusRocketsFan says:

    He would get a lot more respect had he been so vocal and demanded for a “NBA Mental Health Protocol” before he enters the NBA draft. No, he didn’t do that! He got the 3 million dollars contract first and now he is telling the boss that he wants everything his way or the highway?

    I am not a heartless person so don’t tell me I am being one for criticising White. The NBA is not a weekend amateur golf tournament with handicaps. It is for elite sportsmen. Apart from skills, If you are not physically and mentally tough enough you just don’t make it!

    What happens next if someone has stage frights? Should they empty the stadiums when he is on court so he could play? White should be grateful for this Rockets contract and work with the Rockets rather than against it. I am sure the front office of the Rockets organisation didn’t casually come up with random arrangements to jeopardise White’s health. They would have received professionals opinions from mental health consultants.

  8. Dave says:

    If he doesn’t want to work, then he should not be accepting the paychecks. Otherwise, don’t try and act like he’s doing this for the better awareness of mental health. If he didn’t accept the paychecks until a real protocol was in place, then ok, I’d take him more seriously. But it’s easy to sit around and scream that you’re not playing until there is better mental health awareness when you’re accepting free paychecks.

  9. BigBaby says:

    He Should play overseas! …oh….

  10. WORLDWIDEFAN says:




  11. W/E says:

    He should just take medication for anxiety, this guy is so lucky to be chosen to play in the NBA with those ridicoulously high salaries and all that fame he could get, most ppl at his age are jobless nobodies, i dont understand him, there are disabled people with al types of physical and psychological disorders who try incredibly hard but never get chances like this in their life, and this guy just threws the opportunity away…Daamn.

  12. Aitjor David A Santos says:

    cant he just play home games until a betterr solution is found?

  13. LaMont Hardy Jr. says:

    sooner or later the rockets are going to release him from the organization because even tho his disorder aint his fault he is just sitting on the roster collecting money and has not put in any type of work in at practice nor in games he is useless to them honestly he should not have chose to go to the nab they fly daily

  14. elgin kodra says:

    Why don’t they just give him some sleeping pills and then wake the little princesses up when they land. And ps who ever heard of any NBA players who’s planes have crashed they got the top notch jet planes that never crash! They leave the normal planes to the every day people but you don’t see us complaining! So my advice to White is when you know it’s all in your head then why you letting it get to you? Get over it and play some ball!

  15. Kevin says:

    I’m not sure I understand the absolute vitriol and anger being directed towards this kid. Surely our society is better than that no? I know these message boards are really for people that like to get their anger and feelings of low self worth out but something about this post made me want to get involved and say calm down. I wonder if it was your child with the anxiety disorder would you be so cut throat? Hopefully the team and White can get this situation sorted and we can all get back to knowing that it’s just a game. Mental health is far more important.

  16. bent out of shape says:

    i say sue him get ALL your money back get him a bus ticket home he knew he had to fly…………….. the kids nothing more than a con artist

  17. fan says: for people who hasnt read. he has flew in air once and took bus then stopped? he practically just quit to me

  18. fan says:

    people saying he should just play home games and drive on the road? fcking kidding me. how you gonna drive across country and make it in time for the next game and practice. if its too far leave him at home? … i agree with suspending him with no pay. putting him in lineup for home games would just ruin rotation and chemistry.

  19. Dom says:

    Fear of Flying??? HAHAHAHAHA, yeah I had a ‘fear of flying’ before I actually STARTED flying!!! Jeeesus holy mother you can overcome these things for f—- sake, besides, I wonder if he got that ‘protocol’ he was talking about in NCAA, this guy is ridicolous.

  20. Johnny boy says:

    actually, GMs DO decide when a player is available for the games or put in the inactive/reservelist. after careful discussion with the team’s medical staff, of course. so yes, the GM can decide to suspend him because he refused to practice in the DLeague, which the team thought would be best in developing him for the NBA lifestyle. it was a good offer, at least until he can work things out mentally. but he was not willing to pull his part of the deal. plus he directly brought comments against the team to social media. that’s unprofessional conduct, well deserving of a suspension. i seriously cannot blame the Rockets for this decision.

  21. Brandon says:

    he was able to fly just fine before he signed his contract. watch any of his predraft interviews. talking about flying to a different place everyday, he even says he will be able to fly in the nba.

  22. Dennis says:

    Crazy stuff, houston need to handle this a little better, and RW needs to take some major ownership of this, tweeting comments and giving interviews to whom ever is not the way to be handling it.
    Im sure it can be handle, explore how they handled it in college, simple solution im sure.
    The D Man from downunder.

  23. Phae says:

    it’s simple really, he plays only home games and takes the bus to away games at nearby Dallas and San Antonio, and they pro-rate his paycheck accordingly. with 13 active players and up to 15 on a roster, no problem.

  24. Slim says:

    you have a fear of flying like really bro im sure rockets had fear of drafting you but they did it because they believe they can help you overcome it the least you can do for a team who is paying you 3 mil to play ball is to stop acting like a punk and get on the plane babies little kids get on planes you a grown man please do me a favor a grow up ROYCE they did not go out their way just to be disappointed in the end by your fear man up

  25. ridgepath says:

    Someone close to me has had anxiety disorder from childhood. She aggressively fights it. She sees a counselor, takes the medication, and – most important – faces her fears every day… putting one foot in front of the other.

    I’m proud of her. She is dealing with it like a mature adult. She knows that, to grow as a person, she has to face it head on. The counselor has helped her put together strategies to deal with the fears. She has chosen a profession that makes her fears manageable – but she knows that she can’t avoid them completely.

    So, Royce, is it possible that you are confusing a campaign to reshape the NBA with your own strategy to avoid your personal fears? Do you really want to play? Oh, also, is it possible that this strategy will actually make NBA teams more reluctant in the future to “roll the dice” on someone with a mental condition or phobia?

    Just go to work tomorrow.

  26. sle_epy says:

    What does he want the Rockets/NBA to do? If he doesn’t want to fly and doesn’t want to take the bus there really isn’t any other choices for him. The NBA isn’t going to reschedule the season just so that he can get from one city to another.

    I feel bad that he has mental illness, sure, but his demands and needs are far too unreasonable and he really needs to deal with it himself or just forget about making into the NBA.

  27. Bok says:

    This VIP wanna be should be flipping burgers instead, and then, and only then he realize how lucky he was. Sure it might be something serious, but to let you know a lot of athletes goes through a lot of things just to make the cut.

  28. mike says:

    I think Royce White would stand a much better chance of overcoming his fear of flight and learning to cope with his anxieties if he wasn’t in the limelight that goes along with pro sports.

    Part of the problem with speaking out publicly about his mental disorder — noble as it is, and for all the good it might do — is that it also serves to define who he is in a negative way. To overcome anxiety, I think you have to see it as separate from yourself. By personally perpetuating his narrative, maybe he’s further reinforcing and giving power to the anxiety, or at least focusing on one aspect of his person.

    I can only imagine that a non-celebrity with the same disorder would have a much better chance of tackling the fear of flying step-by-step without having to worry about what media outlets are reporting.

  29. Robert - Basketball Fan says:

    Can you say Hidden Agenda?

  30. johhhnybpyy says:

    Thank you Freaky-B, The NBA is letting Royce get battered all over their website. I’d fire their PR guy if I was them. The lack of knowledge in these comments frequently gives me the shivers. I believe the requirement for leaving comments on any website, should be an IQ of 50+

    and again… if any Admins read these, it should be an indication that while videos of JR smith posterizing the imaginable man are great to leave uneducated comments on, controversial issues regarding the health of an employee of the NBA should not have the comment area underneath. All it does is make the NBA look bad for enabling people to clearly do nothing but judge and reticule a misunderstood young man.


    ps. JR Smiths alley oop the other night…. all i have is 2 words…… “scrump and tious”

    there that’s my uneducated comment…

  31. Traci says:

    omg, ppl, he’s not getting suspended for NOT FLYING to games. The problem is that he won’t even report to the local d-league. wth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it’s almost like the mental health issue isn’t even an issue here.

  32. Emmanuel Stalling says:

    This entire situation is ridiculous. I see a lot of comments taking up for White, and calling people insensitive for not caring enough. I ask: what did you expect? It’s basketball, man. There are MILLIONS of people with anxiety disorder in the USA; they learn to cope, they overcome. It’s not like Royce is campaigning so he can save puppies….it’s a sport, for entertainment. That’s like a guy joining the circus to be a tiger trainer, then demanding the circus management accommodate his fear of tigers. Flying is part of the job. If your mental health does not allow you to perform this part, find something else to do. We will wish you the best, but for the love of everything, don’t try to change the system to accommodate your own personal problems. Everyone knows the NBA is about money, as IS ANY BUSINESS, so let’s not pretend they are suddenly evil because they don’t accommodate special cases. These are the best athletes in the world; they are paid millions of dollars to physically perform, and to MENTALLY withstand the strain of the job. His argument is that Mental Health issues should be regarded with the same care as a physical injury. Well, guess what Royce, many players have been cut after blowing out a knee, and never returned to the game. If your “injury” renders you unable to play, RETIRE, but do not use the game as a platform to promote awareness for your disability. There are plenty of avenues for that, and PLENTY of ailments far more serious than anxiety disorder that we should be focusing on.

  33. JimmyRussell says:

    This whole things has really rustled my jimmies, both sides are acting like goons and could surely handle this better. From everything reported it does some like Royce is carrying on a lot for next to no reason and the Rockets have been trying to help him. Kobe would handle this a lot better and that is why he is the greatest of all time, he would find a way to overcome it all.

  34. 1 Solution says:

    1 Solution – SEDATION

  35. dumb says:

    It’s always very interesting to read about how many morons are out there. This comment section is almost full of them. Most of you are essentially siding with a multi-million dollar franchise over a disabled person.

  36. amy34 says:

    don’t be too sad kid – we all will die, all of us. let’s keep it going and get business done. wtf?

  37. Nickolas says:

    i love royce and i’ll be with him until see him in court.

  38. Freaky-B says:

    Oh, and here, here johhhnybpyy!! You said it better than myself!

  39. Freaky-B says:

    I rarely leave comments on here because I generally get so frustrated reading all of these ignorant replies. It’s as if most of you people are still in grade school, and this subject is no exception. However, I feel I have to reply to this. I myself have luckily never suffered from mental illness, and don’t know what it’s like, but I have had many friends who have, and it is not something easy to deal with. We’ve all had bouts of depression, even if they were just small bouts, but if you have had even small bouts, you know that depression can be a horrible feeling, and I’m sure that is consistent with most mental illnesses. Mental illness seems to me, a very challenging hurdle for one’s life. From what it seems to me, from first hearing about this issue upon his draft, it sounded like the Rockets were saying, “Oh sure, yeah, we’ll work with you as much as possible to figure something out”. Which in turn meant, “Ehh, he’ll get over this little fear of flying thing”. Well guess what? He hasn’t, it’s apparently a big problem for him. Do you honestly think some young kid would turn down $3 million if it WASN’T something serious he was battling with? Obviously it’s a serious condition and he’s not just being a baby. I’m really surprised at a lot of your reactions. I’m sure he was expecting more help, and was probably promised more help, than has actually happened. Good for him for taking such a stand on this issue, I’m glad someone is! Maybe there wouldn’t as many off court issues with players, or on court fights, etc, etc, if the NBA took more responsibility on taking care of their player’s mental stability.

  40. Mars-Hi says:

    The truth is for nearly any profession, a job will ask you to get on a plane and travel somewhere. I’d be interested in knowing what exactly happens to him when he does get on a plane. Also, another thing, if he does get anxioity, couldn’t they also tranquilize him whenever he is on a plane? And even a bigger question, didn’t this guy have to get on planes for college games too?

  41. zgillet says:

    Any person who wants to give this idiot the “mental illness” card needs to understand that he publicly ridiculed his employer as well as turning down their recommended treatment. I hope he never plays in the NBA, he doesn’t deserve it.

  42. LazyBalls says:

    This is what I wanna know…DIDN’T YOU KNOW YOU WOULD HAVE TO FLY AS AN NBA PLAYER???? Lotsa really talented guys would sell their Mamas for a chance to play in the NBA.

  43. croneberg says:

    this man should play HAWKX

  44. Vin says:

    How did he play through college anyway? Surely NCAA requires some travelling by flight?

  45. johhhnybpyy says:

    White shouldn’t be mocked. The NBA/Rockets organizations should be very careful with what they do next. White is right about the entire country. The majority of people in the United States believe mental illnesses are fake. the Entire world needs a reform in protocol handling employees with mental health issues. All this has proven is how uneducated the general public is about mental health issues. If I were the NBA or whoever runs this website, I wouldn’t make comments available on any of the Royce White articles because, if you read these comments, and allow them to stay on your website, it indicates to me that while the NBA is not directly insulting Royce White, they are opening doors for people to do it for them. Allowing ignorant and inaccurate comments such as many of the ones on this page alone (not to mention any other Royce White article) is upsetting and appalling. An organization as esteemed as the NBA should be doing nothing but supporting Royce White and his mental illness. Royces’ Issues should be handled no differently than Jeff Greens or Channing Fryes heart problems, which are just as debilitating as an anxiety disorder. Bad taste on the behalf of the NBA and allowing such rude and disgusting comments to linger on their websites. The only thing that I’ve taken from this entire ordeal is that the NBA/Rockets consider mental illnesses to be less of a concern than physical health problems. Which is complete blasphemy if I add.

    One very disappointed NBA fan/human.

  46. Josh L says:

    That guy is the B.A. Barracas of the NBA. I’m not getting on no plane foo.

    • Josh L says:

      You’re telling me that to go from Houston to Miami, we don’t travel by horse? Millions of dollars, plane, millions of dollars, plane.. I’m thinking I’m thinking,

  47. Charles says:

    I can’t believe the people who are commenting on this page. You people obviously have no experience with mental health issues. The problem with this is that there are a ton of things in place for physical health issues. Look at what they do for people who break bones, who get sick, and who in general become physically hurt. But they come across a guy with a mental disorder, and suddenly he’s a whiner because there’s nothing in place to help him. Maybe if you people actually had to deal with something like this you wouldn’t judge him. Do you judge someone for getting cancer? Ugh, seriously you people make me sick. I hope you have kids and they have some kind of mental disorder so that you can be the ones who are saying they are sick of how mental diseases are treated in this country. Maybe you would learn something… maybe.

  48. jr9901 says:

    Unfortunately for White, some “professional” at some point put it into his head that he has a “disease” no different from any other physical one. As a physician, I can say from long experience: many psychiatrists are winging it most of the time. Most don’t know what they’re doing. Sounds like one of those “know-littles” got a hold of this kid and screwed him up forever.

    White is not employable. Not by the Rockets, not by any pro team, not by any business on this planet, most likely. Nobody is going to put together a “protocol” just to placate this kid and his cadre of so-called “doctors.” He is unemployable, and will probably end up poor and helpless. I’d be curious to see how loudly he demands his “protocols” when he can’t buy food or pay the rent. If you see a really tall homeless guy wandering around sometime…. think of Royce White.

  49. mr Sam says:

    give him a benadryl and story over!!!

  50. Michael says:

    Most of the people defending don’t seem to be addressing the point that the ones bashing him are making: He’s the one that is being the more difficult, not the Houston organization.

    From what I understand the Rockets tried to set him up with a team approved professional and he refused. They offered him travel by bus and he refused. They asked him to play in the NBDL to better his skills and he refused. Which begs the question, what exactly are the Rockets doing so wrong with these offers that can make him so entitled to refuse?

    I don’t know anyone with mental health issues so I can’t comment on how hard it must be for him to fly etc, and I’m sure it’s extremely difficult for him but if he wants to be an NBA player he needs to meet the Rockets half way. All these articles are sympathetic towards his health but also state, rightfully so, that he needs to be willing to compromise.

    I think the most damning thing is that he goes and bashes the organization on twitter and interviews like he has no fault in this. Guess what this is real life your disability is not going make you king of the world, my inability to play basketball is not something I wish I had but that doesn’t mean an NBA franchise is going to say “The fact you’re 5’7, can’t jump and can’t play ball is not your fault why don’t you come play for the Rockets?” He needs a gut check if this is something that he truly wants I’m sure he can find a way to meet Houston halfway and make it work

  51. jimmernba says:

    i am afraid of water but I want to be a lifeguard …
    i want to be a boxer but dont wan to get punched….WTF?

  52. FineGoods says:

    As someone who has suffered from anxiety most of his life, it’s really something where it doesn’t aid your ability to make decisions. I only really recently started getting more help with it after a 20+ year battle since my childhood which recently over the last few years resulted in repressed anxiety disorder.

    Anxiety causes you to feel trapped, even suffocated mentally. I doubt his anxiety is just because of flying but probably extends to a large part of his everyday life.

    This caused me problem in my working life, my relationships, everything – my solution was to throw myself iinto work and life regardless and try to battle it – and that’s one thing that disappoints me most about this kid. He’s not a good role model for anxiety sufferers at all, he’s not even trying to go to games or playing in the D-League showing he is trying.

    There comes a point where even if you suffer anxiety, you have to push through it – as a fellow anxiety sufferer i disagre that he should be just sitting there complaining, however as a fellow anxiety sufferer i can also empathize with the internal struggle that anxiety brings.

    Its sad.

  53. Darryl Clayton says:

    Reading most of the comments it’s apparent that most people don’t understand mental disorders such as anxiety (which in some cases is on par to phobias such as people that are afraid of needles, dogs, snakes, etc.). Each team does its homework and the Rockets were well aware that this problem existed, so there should have been some provisions put in place. Conversely Royce’s therapist or psychiatrist should have created a treatment plan to help him address this issue since it’s clear that rigors of the NBA season requires flying from city to city. But to say that he should have never entered the draft is like saying a person with a disability doesn’t have the right to earn a living in the career of their choice especially if they’ve earned the opportunity. Since he was a member on the Iowa State team maybe the Rockets could look at how they worked with Royce regarding this issue. The resolution won’t be simple, but neither is life. I hope the best for the young man.

  54. CP9 says:

    not everyone can be an NBA player. just like not everyone can be a manager or a CEO. Each job has their own requirements. To be an NBA player requires ball playing skills which White probably has but each player also needs to spend of time on the road and travel. And that he is unable to do therefore he needs to find another gig.
    My job needs me to travel every week…..if I dont do it then I sure am fired in days. With his disorder he is not qualified for an NBA career. Maybe back in the old days when teams travel by bus but not these days.

  55. Jay says:

    Royce White is suffering from “D-League Anxiety Disorder.”

  56. Alan Hollway says:

    The whole situation with Royce is incredible. Yes he should not have nominated for the draft and yes the Rockets should not have drafted him. But shouldn’t the parties at least deal with realities. Both parties are not being realistic. Royce insisting on a set of national protocols is absurd and the Rockets suspending him provides no solution either. Why doesn’t Houston simply play him for home games, cut his salary and see how he performs. If he turns out to be a superstar who just needs time to overcome his anxiety issues, then would that not be the best solution for all? Let him play on the home court, let him prove his determination and willingness to suceed and then the whole situation may be turned on its head. Of course Houston cannot allow a player to simply play at home for ever, but can’t they do it for even a short period say 3 months and it then keeps options open for all parties.

    • Hell No says:

      Playing him in Home Games would ruin rotations and the chemistry that guys have already developed with each other. Also, it would promote a bad environment in the locker room, as it demonstrates that we are rewarding behavior that should never be tolerated not just for professional sports, but as a mature working adult in any job ever.

  57. djunsan says:

    Now that he’s not getting paid for doing nothing, watch Royce White miraculously recover from his mental illness…

  58. isaiah says:

    ha a rocket who’s afraid to fly

  59. isaac urhoghide says:

    i feel for him because all these people don’t really understand what he is dealing with, its not only because of the flights its because of the nba not
    having enough respect for hes mental illness, hes a top talent but its hes honesty of letting everybody know what hes dealing with what broke hes changes in this league, but hes gotta know that most people in this world
    most of the time only see there own problems, So if he wanna have another change in this league hes gotta see threw these fears and realise that if you really want it you wil not be botherd by it.
    the nba wil not have room for a mental healt care, the nba is made for people who are mentally strong, but in my opinion royce white is mentally strong enough hes only gotta know that himself.
    if i was in hes position i would just have did what they told me and would play in the D-league but i do think its a little unfaire to throw him in a D-league only because of him saying he has mental problems.
    in think its a shame of the rockets that they havent even played him for one regular season game they should have put him in the starting lineup at least once to give him confidence but they have failed its a shame i hope a other nba team wil give him a change and that he wil grab it so that the rockets wil feel regrets about there decision.

    • Thihan D says:

      I honestly feel the exact same way. i read all these comments, and i feel very sad for Royce. hopefully, another team will pick him up, and help him fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the Nba

  60. angie says:

    It just doesn’t feel like Royce is trying to meet the team half way. Report to the D-League. Play one game. That could’ve just been a litmus test by the team to see how serious he is about actually PLAYING basketball. How about 1 step, 1 game.

  61. James says:

    I wonder who is writing this young man’s material for him. Do you think he even knows what the word “protocol” means?

  62. The Beard says:

    Its just ridiculous what this guy has done. The rockets were willing to work with him, even providing a bus to transport him to some of the games and workouts, but he turned it down. It just blows my mind that the team was willing to give him exactly what he wanted and he still turned it down.

  63. Eli Odell J. says:

    not sad at all, he’s reaping the consequences of his actions, hell, if he truly was truly treated justly they woulda fired him the 2nd time he acted in this insolent, insubordinate, ridiculous way
    he’s done it to himself, and he’s only got him to blame

  64. julio says:

    i had very high hopes for this kid but he is just a mental case… he needs to try to get better with professional help if need be but in the mean time play in the dleague! its not that hard why wouldnt you want to play and get paid the rockets are trying to work with you but your ego is getting the best of you bro

  65. frank says:

    Some of the comments here are just unfair and insensitive. This kid should be applauded for pioneering the cause for the mentally disable in the sporting world here in the US. i am inclined to believe that this young man was fully aware of the consequences of refusing to honour the terms of a contract. He was aware that he will be suspended and lose eages for doing such. However,he tok an bold and audacious decision to do what he believe was the right thing.
    Americans are all about money money money and could care less of the security and health concerns of some of the very people responsible for bringing in such money. It’s quite disheartening to note that for an entity as huge and successful as the NBA does not have any standards plans in dealing with athletes plagued with some form of disability. People are saying that he should have known what he was signing up for. Dont you get it,this man has some serious mental issues. Are we saying that he should be denied his dreams because he has a mental issue? The famous Dutch master Dennis Berkham had the same fear of flying. Arsenal,the club that he played for did not deny him the chance of showcasing his talents. Certain accommodations were made. He traveled by whatever means other than flying that were available. If it was impossible to travel,he stayed at home.
    This kid is only raising the awareness. Americans like to act after the fact. The warnings signs are there for all to see.

    • Eli Odell J. says:

      okay buddy, y’say “here in the US” and ya talk down about us, again and again, but i do see how you spell honor as “honour”, and use “quite” a lot, and then you talk about soccer….. comeon son, you a brit for sure, dont lie, dont claim us, you aint one of us

  66. seriously? says:

    I can sympathize with people struggling with a mental illness. But what about the artist formerly known as Ron Artest – Metta World Peace who’s playing has improved for the Lakers (wish the lakers would improve).

    He’s been dealing with mental health issues for his whole career – but he still comes to work, gets therapy and hasn’t ever thrown tantrums about his condition. White should take a page out of his book.

    here’s your protocol: get your therapy and be good enough at basketball to get on the court.

  67. snukesniz says:

    He entered the draft to coast his way into $2 million bucks. He clearly had no intention of ever playing a single NBA game, but now that he has been suspended and so have his payments, im sure he will quickly change his tune at-least until after he receives all his cash.

  68. DNBA says:

    What a mistake to recruit him. 3 million dollars for 2 years on someone that claims playing basketball in the D-League is too dangerous for his health? Cut him!

    He is right that going to another team won’t solve his problems but can he get into another other team? I don’t see any other team would seriously want him now.

  69. michael says:

    The real issue is not the flying but the anxiety with no routine. Royce has anxiety related to changes to his routine, which includes travel, unfamiliar people, unfamiliar surroundings.

    As part of his protocol, Royce wants a structured schedule including structured game time. This is the for both sides. Royce refuses to go d league as he would not be surrounded by everyone he is used to. Rockets cannot give this kid court time. Rotation minutes are earned and they cannot give minutes to a kid who doesn’t practice. Sets bad example for all the rooks and ruin the locker room.

    Basically Royce has benchitis, but because of his anxiety it is extra bad for him. He is setting a bad example as rather than overcoming his condition, he is playing victim. No GM will spend a 1st rounder again in a similar position

  70. Lakersfan says:

    idk about what the rockets are going to do with white, but im sure NBA will have a rule on the rookie contract basically saying that players should deal with their mental problems, or else they should not join the draft

  71. PLZ READ THIS!!!! says:


  72. Tridanny says:

    I can guarantee that all the people commenting and saying man up, have not been down the roads he has been with anxiety disorder. I have. I can completely understand this, if it was cancer, people wouldnt say a damn word, but because its mental health its different? People commenting on this are clueless.

  73. Roger says:

    Rockets have tried to make things work for this kid.. Tried setting up bus trips to get to multi-game road trips. (as long trips consist of games in one area of country) but there was a problem about him taking commercial trips or something. Now he has been sent down to D- League and he refuses to to report at Rockets D-League affiliate? He could be playing if he wanted to he just refuses to do anything the Rockets have suggested! Have you ever heard of a baseball player being sent to triple A and not reporting? No! This has nothing to do with anxiety! This kid is just a brat who’s been coddled his whiole life. He just doesn’t understand that the world doesn’t revolve around him! I hope Houston get their 3 mill guaranteed money back! Then he can get a real job and see how much his boss cares about his problems! Haha

  74. none says:

    This cat just pulled one hell of an okey-doke. He spent 2 months with courtside seats and he managed to take home about $600,000 after taxes and agent fees. I’d take that job for a while!

    Ironic part is that he says he wants to bring “attention to mental health issues”. He did. Every GM in the NBA will remember this one for the next 10+ years.

  75. wuffe says:

    Why? Didn’t this desire for a Mental Health Protocal surface when he was playing in college playing ball. I know it’s not quite as stressful in college , but they take aircraft to reach opposing teams.

  76. heroes del silencio says:

    for 3 million I fear nothing!!

  77. mr. question man says:

    forget about his fear of flying for a minute.
    general anxiety disorder….

    what part of his mental illness prevents him from playing at least one D-league Home game? and seeing a qualified shrink recommended by the team for his benefit?
    and to suiting up for home games even though he doesn’t get any playing time? support the time from the sidelines at least…

    is he saying that the only solution to his mental health problems is to give him starter minutes for the rockets, make him only play in home games (and games close to home), and see only doctors that he wants?

  78. bent out of shape says:

    will add a new reform to te nba policy any players entering the draft must disclose any and all mental disorders I. E drug use,gang affiliations , sexual abuse by previous coaches ,fear of flying , mothering issues , the list can go on and on and on and on this kid should be made to repay any money received along with any medical bills acquired by the rockets in fact he is right in the fact that the nba needs mental health reform they should put every player entering the nba through a phyc evail

  79. dan says:

    quit mocking white, its a serioues issue, obviously the rockets should not of drafted him… they knew of his ffright of flight. just pay him his three million and go play in turkey where he wont have to take flights or someplace like that

  80. Chibi Mie says:

    With a few exceptions, most of the comments attest to the very low level of education, awareness, and thoughtfulness that NBA fans possess. Sadly, it’s probably emblematic of this nation as a whole. At least show some ability to consider that many of our institutions, the NBA included, need to change with the state of knowledge that we possess as a society to properly accommodate the different traits we all have as individuals. I hope that this leads to some heightened self-reflection on the part of the NBA (more hope for that than many of the fans, if this site is any indication).

  81. Cut Royce White ASAP says:

    If he has a medical condition, he can’t play, so cut him.

    This is the NBA, not a mental health treatment organization.

    Royce White should STOP TWEETING AND DO HIS JOB.

    If he REFUSES, cut him and move on. The Rockets are top 8 in the West without him

  82. Winston says:

    It’s simple, just like every job in the world, if you think there are problems with the demands of the job, then don’t apply for it. You don’t expect the company to resolve it for you before you even work for them. First, he hasn’t proven anything yet. We don’t even know if he’s really worth his contract. What if he has a problem in playing basketball in an enclosed arena? I guess, it’s high time the NBA do a mental health check before the draft.

  83. HP* says:

    Houston must of interviewed him before the draft, all teams interview the top picks for that team clearly he didnt make his anxiety a big deal in the interview yet then they draft him and he goes completely off the rails. Such a shame for Houston who could of used that pick to help the rebuilding the team is going through

  84. Mick says:

    I think this kid knew what he was getting into. I feel as though mental health is a serious issue and he did his homework to get drafted…take the money and run…while trying to advocate a bigger cause to put himself on some sort of peddle stool. Metta World Peace has already started advocation for mental illness, so Royce White needs to ride his “own” and man up! The Rockets should have not drafted him…all of the televised mess this kid put on a true oscar…Kevin McHale went to bat for this guy and while the rest of the Rockets organization was against drafting him. ( He talking about chasing a dream and here he is killing it. Again…I understand the mental health position he’s in, but he knew what he was getting into…it’s just disappointing that he took that draft position from someone else.

  85. Brandon says:

    I would suggest medical marijuana, it might help him

  86. Brandon says:

    This dude needs to understand that the NBA is a business

  87. jEFF says:

    In all honesty, both sides are at fault here. For all the Rocket fans who complain how Royce is a bust, that’s your problem. The rockets knew that Royce had this disorder and decided to gamble, and guess what, they lost the gamble. Whoopdeedoo. And of course I feel for Royce, but him entering the NBA, he should know that things won’t always go his way. And if he can’t cope with that, then he should stick to college ball. And anyone asking for him to just play at home, I’m just shaking my head right now.

  88. jakes says:

    Waste of talent

  89. Danny says:

    RELEASE HIM!!!!!!!!

    Waste roster slot….

  90. NBAFAN says:

    He cant possibly take a car or bus. By the time the rest of the team reaches their next destination he’ll still be miles away. Drug the guy i.e give him a sleeping pill, let him sleep through the flight. When he wakes up they’ll already be on the ground. Problem solved

  91. scav says:

    mental health protocol? what else? do we need a protocol for crippled too? why the hell did he makes himself eligible for draft. NBA is also a mental game, if you have mental health issue you just can’t play. there is no need for a protocol for that, just his nonsense

  92. Cliff Paul says:

    Just get medical treatments and decide on your own as a man if you are able to treat it or not.

    Also contact me for insurance quotes. I am the real Cliff Paul

  93. bos says:

    What if he only play home games.. lol

  94. J. Rich says:

    He should have them to to him what they did to Mr. T back in the day. He hated flying so they always had to drug him and put him to sleep for the flight.

  95. John says:

    They should just sedate him before he gets on the flight then wake him up when its game time haha.

  96. John says:

    hahahahahhaha wth… dude needs to grow up. Some of these phobias that people have these days are ridiculous. He won’t put himself in a “hazardous situation to play a sport.” Driving is much more hazardous than flying. In fact, playing professional basketball is probably more hazardous than flying. Wow.. I can’t believe this is a real story.

  97. bj says:

    Its probably a very delicate and difficult situation, even tho most of us understand that he cannot play the way it is now. And I hope the Rockets have heart and care for this person the best they can, obviously not as a player. I believe they have a bit of responibility. And maybe this will be a change in sports that help the ones that does not make it ?

  98. Natalie says:

    If this guy really wanted to play Basketball he would have went on his own and tried to get help. The team that drafted him knew about the disorder so they should have made some type of way to accommodate him. Why don’t they let him just play in home games or let him drive himself to away games. There are compromising solutions to the problem if both sides are willing to listen.

  99. Dcon says:

    Just curious how did he get around in college? Bus?

    anyhow why wouldn’t the rockets just play him at home and try to work with him on this flying thing when going on the road? It seems that they drafted him know the issue beforehand, yet they’re unwilling to work on it with him? I would give hime some minutes at home games and see if he’s worth dealing with, but this would be a nightmare for McHale because if White becomes a solid rotation player, then his rotation changes every other game.

    Feel bad for the guy, but it seems like this situation could be somewhat resolved, but it seems like either White or the Rockets braintrust (or both) won’t budge on some details. If it was me, it seems like the money and security alone would be enough for me to overcome this fear, and if I couldn’t ovecome it then bring on the drugs for the flight. Oh well.

  100. Beavis says:

    White is making the very real issue of mental health seem like a joke because he’s not really concerned with mental health, but about himself ruffling feathers, making headlines and causing trouble. Would this guy please just go away and NEVER come back????

  101. Ben says:

    you all trash him for taking stand. He wants change, plain and simple. Right now you think he’s immature, though if you follow his twitter you would realize he’s anything but, and actually probably one of the nicest guys there are. Who know’s, 30 years from now we could all be remembering how he changed the NBA and the stigma that comes with mental illness, and there may be a protocol in place so anyone with a mental illness will feel safe. You know what Royce White is right now? He is the literal definition of a martyr

    • uoykcuf says:

      he is and he’s letting more people aware of mental illness and I applauded that. BUT If you want to set an example, you have to do it right. For now he just scared all those nba owners who’s willing to take a chance on the next guy with mental issues.

  102. Jacob says:

    America has always treated mental health like a joke so its not really suprising to me.

  103. sahwn says:

    Im not convinced that he really has any sort of mental illness besides few loose screws in the head. Royce should find work at a show like Jerry Springer. Drama Queens dont play sport.

  104. question says:

    so the rockets send white to the DL and he says NO!
    the question is: have white’s doctors told him not to play in the DL? or is he just unprofessional?
    by the way: all of white’s tweets have been very unprofessional!!!

    i have always said that athletes should play the sport and keep all their opinions to them self!

  105. Reggie Andrew says:

    This dude is complaining and making 3 million dollars?

    the rockets can do whatever they want with me for 1 million!

    I was really hoping royce would be a great player in the NBA. I think there is more to it then what we hear…..

    Hope they can give him another chance.. maybe another team…..??

  106. Knixfan says:

    ROCKETS now release him and donate his salary to a mental health research society.
    This guy could of set an example to the league and for players who suffer the same disease.
    Not the case.

  107. steve says:

    i understand he has a medical condition but he really needs to stop being such a dam crybaby about all this. as of right now, the rockets wasted a draft pick cuz he probably will never play a game

  108. leftyefb says:

    If the young man has a problem,work with him play him at home and find alternative travel for him while he is being treated for his disorder..Don’t treat him like a “Slave” “White Men”.He is Human and therefore Fallible.

  109. John says:

    Their are things to help people with disorders, it is called therapy. Royce White needs to confront his fears or go home. If I was given 3 million dollars and a dream job and the only sacrifice was to overcome my fear of flying, I would overcome my fear of flying. Alot of people would love to have 3 million, and it was stupid to the Rockets for drafting him with his anxiety problems.

    • AJ Mills says:

      I don’t think White is behaving especially well by refusing to play for the D-League team, and I think the team suspending him is fair. But your comment is incredibly stupid–do you really think he’s never tried therapy? Do you have any knowledge of his previous or current treatments? Phobias and anxiety aren’t things that one simply “gets over.”

  110. Paul says:

    sheeesh what a waste… how many of us are offered a lot of money doing the things we love. A lot of young kids dream of being in the NBA, he has no idea how fortunate he is to be able to enter the league. He could’ve been a great advocate of his condition that will inspire people, if only he was mature enough and have a good work ethic.

  111. HeatFan24 says:

    Royce white…ruining careers of players with disabilities for years to come 🙂

  112. mrwormburn says:

    Perhaps now my point will come across; a point I tried to make last season regarding Lamar Odom. Lamar was being a total, little-bish to the Mavericks organization. He refused to give effort, and many around him had more excuses than necessary regarding his “mental stability” because of certain things going on in his life. I’m sorry, you’re a millionaire that gets paid to play a game. Never would anyone else get paid to not play, whine himself out of work, and go cry to his cow wife. LO is a straight clown. If people are being hard on RW; reexamine the LO story.

  113. Jamal J says:

    Yes, Royce is seeming immature in this issue. However, do note that he’s a 21 year old boy with mental illness. He’s no idiot however, as there IS no standard protocol for handing mental health issues in the NBA. Each team and GM chooses to handle it as he see’s fit. The other perspective is, did Houston and Royce understand what Iowa State did to support him? They need to look at that. Yes…an 82 game season (not including playoffs) offers additional demands and stress. Teams bench players for health reasons all of the time. San Antonio benched their key players a few months ago so they could “rest” instead of playing them against Miami. Okay…so you don’t have Royce for 82 games, you have him for 50 or so. Half of mentally healthy players are out that much due to physical injury. Let Royce drive to San Antonio, Dallas, New Orleans, and anything else within reason until you find a better resolution and consider him “injured” for away games until the resolution meets everyone’s needs. At the same time you get all GMs, the Commissioner, and every NBA player and their doctors in a conference room to discuss mental health issues and the impact on players, teammates, etc. and what needs to happen across the league to address these challenges. Then you make it a bigger issue, and add the NFL, Baseball, hockey, etc…Because this is not JUST an NBA issue.

  114. sunny says:

    So I wouldnt call this a kids game.

  115. ko0kie says:

    if he gets any $ of that 3 mio. contract consider it stolen… if he needs some kind of special treatment and cannot even attend all the road games then he obviously is not suitable for being an NBA Player.
    I mean if was scared of driving I wouldn’t apply as postman or pizza delivery guy.

  116. Josh says:

    The only Rocket that can’t fly.

  117. dude0899 says:

    why not just give the man some heavy narcotic drugs to keep him asleep during the flights. DEAL WITH IT!

  118. Pinoy Baller says:

    Hey Royce you better just apply for a day job in any grocey/supermarket near you, for sure there is no flying there!

  119. Game Time says:

    Good. Glad they found a way to stop paying him. He’s scamming the team. There’s no reason for him to not play in the D-League. Heck I’m still trying to figure out why he can’t play the home games.

  120. quinton smith says:

    The kid is really really talented. Let ‘s start from the draft. Royce was promised medical help from the start. Royce made it clear he did not want to sign with any team if his illness was not address. The Rockets agreed and then he signed their contract. Understand me he did not sign their contract before the Rockets agreed. Now when there are no set rules for his mental illness like this people demonize Royce White.

    Royce White was a excellent student at Iowa. So he does not feel entitled he’s not lazy or a spoiled brat.

    • mark says:

      Another illogical comment. Puhlease….

      Why would the Rockets draft him if they were unwilling to help him in the first place? Are you trying to say that the Rockets drafted him so that they could waste their money on him? Lol.

    • zgillet says:

      Seriously, educate yourself… Royce refused the Rocket’s treatment and then ridiculed the for it.

  121. franck says:

    but I do feel sorry for the kid, not only is it out in public but mental issues/illnesses are much worse than physical injuries etc.
    It must be hard to deal with. But Houston did the right thing by suspending him without pay. If I wasnt working I wouldnt get paid either thats just the monetary system. At the end of the day there are more people with way worse problems, What White earned in 2 months in the NBA is probably more than what most of us earn in a couple of years! so I cant feel bad for him as Athletes play sports for money anyways, I dont blame them but its the truth.

  122. Len says:

    It just seems odd to me that he was able to function fine in his college program. But, now professional teams can’t accommodate him. I believe he’s making things more difficult than they should be.

  123. Kayrion Hall says:

    This guy is making 3 million dollars to play a child’s game. If you can’t figure out a way to survive with that pleasant lifestyle then you really don’t deserve it. He needs to get a taste of reality and experience the life of real jobs. Some other kid could of been drafted. Be thankful for what you have ROYCE.

  124. prokorov says:

    royce white should read these comments

  125. Alberto says:

    If he wants to be pro, he can play in Europe. I’m from Spain, and our national league (ACB) has got a high level of basketball (obviously is not the same than in the NBA, but is still a high level). Here the teams just fly in Euroleague, and I’m sure if he wanted to play here, any team would help for the few air travel there during the season. He deserves another chance in basketball, because he’s got enough to play ball.

  126. Mario says:

    @John Doe Rockets sent all their rookies to D-League, some even few times (Donatas Motiejunas) so they could play, evolve and prove themselves. And they don’t cry about that. But according to this stupid, spoiled child Royce White playing in D-League is hazardous to his health, so what, he already deserved a spot in rotation?! Are you kidding me

  127. big bang theory says:

    ROyce wants to get paid to do nothing, thats my man i know. we can all learn a thing from him or too.

  128. Rand McNally says:

    It is true that the Rockets took a gamble, but with it they also took a responsibility. As far as services for players with mental health issues, what excuse do clubs have to not give their players all the support they can? So he has anxiety pertaining to a fear of flying. Very rarely do anxieties pertain to a single issue, but the status of his mental health is between him and his doctors only. Under no circumstances can a GM become involved in deciding on his mental care, if it is true that the GM is making decisions for him. All players, regardless of their status of mental health, are due services to enable them to maintain mental health when required, and for a player with such publicized mental health issues, the club should take steps to do everything they can. But even with the best services, sometimes things just don’t work out. Hope White can find the help and support he needs, ideally from the Houston Rockets. Right now it is just a sad situation.

  129. Baptista Gomes Diogo says:

    You all talk like irresponsable people. Really, why did this kid enter the NBA??? You don’t understand the point of this. He entered the NBA because he wanted to become a Pro but hey he might not have known that there isn’t a protocol for this…but did you guys know even their were protocols in the NBA if yes tell me if Popovich knew it because it seems like the NBA has tons of flaws when it comes to protocols…they don’t have a protocol for resting the main players but they are allowed to make teams pay for that… .
    This guy is just making a real point, where are the protocols, and why is a GM that doesn’t know anything about injuries or any other health issues allowed to decide over medical support….Please people …it’s his life which is on the line, it’s his mental issue which could have dramatical influences if he d play. Rockets should waive…I bet there d be at least 15 teams givin this guy a opportunity and he would prove Housten the mistake they made…Think about it istead of talking like a bunsh of people that have no heart.

  130. Extraordinaire says:

    He puts too much on the shoulders of the NBA. Sounds like its his problem and he hasn’t been mature enough to get it handled.

    This isn’t college where they spoil you.

    I hated flying too for my job 3 times per year. But the income and the opportunity made me get that handled ony own.

    There are countless other players lining up for Whites opportunity.

    He shouldn’t be paid a penny. Cut him loose so he can go get a job pumping gas or nagging groceries.

  131. Gray says:

    They can just put him to sleep before flying and wake him up once they get to their destination. Just like BA in the A-Team.

  132. wamsanity says:

    he has a mental disorder!

    • zgillet says:

      …and that doesn’t matter. He’s a PUBLIC FIGURE. It’s clearly not the right thing for him to do.

  133. Jere says:

    The kid has a disorder. The comparison the article and the commentors make is not fair. You would not work some where that conflicted with your health under most circumstances. Let’s say your job put a fiery pit in front of the entrance that you had to leap over before going in? Would you do it?I get this whole thing is ridiculous but the Rockets knew exactly what they were getting into so it’s just as much their fault.

  134. john smith says:

    I have a fear of water, I didn’t become a surfer. Know the job requirements.

  135. KrunkFu247 says:

    Why the hell would he even join the draft if HE KNOWS there’s a game almost every other day? What a waste of a draft pick. I feel sorry for the Rockets who traded almost all of their players except Chandler Parsons for a new start, only to begin with a whiny prick who blames everything on the franchise.

  136. SoulChorea says:

    The crazy thing is, as much as he expressed his concern about everything being “in the best interest of his health”, taking every single negative thing that happened straight to Twitter and interviews was the one thing that probably did the most damage. Doing that probably wasn’t in the best interest of his health and may have hindered him. Yikes.

  137. jbuckets22 says:

    Guys have some respect. If you had a serious problem like he does, I’m sure you would want to stand up for yourself. I respect his argument in the fullest.

  138. jacobm says:

    i understand that he has a serious condition but he shouldn’t expect any more flexibility from the rockets than any other job. if you cannot fulfill you’re job without reasonable accommodation do not bother trying

  139. john smith says:

    Gets payed a ton of money to play a kids game, and acts like a little kid, go figure. Let him try and get a “real” job.

    • Alex Hehr says:

      Why in God’s name did this bloke enter the NBA draft. Sonny ya can’t get to games with a horse and bloody cart ffs. USA has a ton of shrinks as half the popoltaion is seein one…go see somebody and stop screwing all and sundry around. If ya can’t stand the heat get out of the bloody kitchen ffs!

    • sunny says:

      i would say being an NBA player is a harder than job than most of the average joe jobs you guys are doing. Do you know how much hard work and dedication it take to enter the NBA? You pretty much dedicate your whole life to basketball. And even after you make the NBA the hardwork does not stop. You pretty much have no family life because you’re always on the move and always training. These guys get paid so much for the hardwork and have to dedicate their whole life to basketball while sacrificing their family life and everything else. They have no say, the NBA franchises pretty much own them.

    • everyone ditched dirk says:

      lol i voted for him for the allstar game

  140. Murdock says:

    The A-Team figured out how to solve this problem 30 years ago. Seems like people from Texas really are as stupid as they look.

  141. Jeremy says:

    The thing about mental health is it can affect the body and White is just going through a hard time. Adults go through mental health. I think the NBA should help him by getting him some other way to get to a game but White should have reported to the D league but sometimes things just happen

  142. John says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. the NBA is paying him 3 million on his contract (or was), he has the money to seek his own medical help. The Rockets are at fault for not scouting better and wasting a draft pick.

    • Andy says:

      The Rockets offered him help, he refused it. They offered him buses until he could control his fear. He refused it. Now he refused going to the D-League. At this point, it’s all on Royce White that his career is over before it started.

      • itsbigwes95 says:

        but they won’t let the doctor that helped him get over his fears help him? try explaining how the biggest way to help white is letting him see his own doctor, but the rockets won’t let him see the only person that will help. it’s all on the rockets, if they let him see his own doctor, they wouldn’t have to offer a bus, or have to go to the d-league. try actually looking at what white has said too, that they won’t offer his own docter because they don’t care enough.

  143. Ioakim says:

    I think some comments are unfair. If he really suffers from anxiety while flying, then this is a medical problem. One of the best European soccer (Football) players, Denis Bergkamp, player of the year in England, suffered from fear of flying. He either took the train / boat to some games, or only played home games. No one ever critisized him for that. The NBA seems unable to find a good solution for this talented player.

    • timberland says:

      he was honest about his condition and capabilities from the start. Nothing has changed. He is sticking to his word. I don’t think he has any expectation of playing in the nba under the present system. I think his goal from the start was to be a pioneer for mental illness in professional sport. If change came all the better but if not, at least he would raise awareness. Maybe one day a solution can be found. I respect him for not giving in to the present system at risk to his health just for a fat paycheck… Money is not everything

    • myk_H says:

      It’s not just a problem with the NBA; it’s American society in general. Him not reporting to the DLeague team is another thing entirely. But, in America we tend to be heartless about mental illness. Read all these comments about growing up and you clearly see people don’t understand the brain as like any other organ. Can you imagine someone telling you, “why don’t you just grow up” if you had Leukemia, lupos, diabetes, etc?

      • AJ Mills says:

        “Get over it,” “grow up,” “just take something”–yeah, it’s pretty clear that most of the people commenting don’t understand mental illness at all.

      • geniusatwork says:

        i partially agree with you. He has a mental illness which is not something that we all understand, but knowing his own situations, myabe the nba was not for him. Most of the games are away and are on the other side of the US, which means flying would be the most effective route of travel. I know mental illness can effect a person physical as well, but all these should of been taken into consideration prior to agreeing to enter the draft.

    • Karim says:

      Please do not blame Texans. It is Rockets and Moore that do not want to find a solution.

    • David says:

      This is true… and just emphasizes how ridiculous Royce White is! If he has a problem, he needs to find a way to get over it and be professional, instead of acting like the world owes him something! Bergkamp never complained, always showed up and worked harder and played harder than everyone else. White signed a multi-million contract, he has to work to deserve it!

    • Dr_n-Do says:

      While a good point, it is much easier to play soccer in Europe without flying than it is to play in the NBA without flying.

      • Common Sense says:

        This is true. My only point will be this. He may have known what he was getting into and known he would never be able to do back to back road games, and that he likely wouldn’t be able to play east coast games, this would be hard for any team to get use to. He obviously couldn’t be a franchise player. But more than that, with dozens of scouts and executives being paid lots of money, the Rockets drafted him. They knew he had the fear of flying and they picked him. What were they thinking? Is this what they wanted? Publicity? I don’t really get it, but the Rockets know exactly what they are doing, they knew this was exactly what would happen, it is happening exactly as they expected, and going exactly where they want it to. My only question is where are they going with this and why?

    • zgillet says:

      OMG grow up people. Fear of flying is like being afraid of the dark. It’s irrational, and Royce knew he would have to face it going in. It’s not like they sprung it on him. He is a whiny twenty-something who thinks he has something to prove. This is coming from a 24-year-old!

      • itsbigwes95 says:

        @zgillet. it’s not just a fear of flying, it’s anxiety. my mom has, and it’s not something you can just get over. my grandpa had it, making over $250,000 a year and quit his job because he got sick (he was sick less than a week). my mom won’t let me go outside when it rains, and i live in oregon where it rains for 10 months of the year. she’ll throw away our whole dinner if she thinks she didn’t cook it long enough, and she always cooks it for half an hour longer than she has to, and still throws it away! you need to grow up, and people aren’t scared of the dark, it’s what is in the dark. it’s like taking your worst nightmare to everything you do, and then you believe it will happen no matter what. think of your worst fear, and then put into everything you do. if your afraid of snakes, would you be jumping on a plane that you know has snakes on it? or eat food with a snake right next to you? no, you won’t, not if it’s your worst fear anyways, and anxiety makes everything seem scary to you. now try getting them 20,000 feet above the ground, with nothing to protect you if it goes down, and try seeing if you can actually sleep with it thinkning every second you’re going to crash. you don’t realize how serious this is, just saying it’s a little fear is being ingorant and disrespectful. it’s like telling someone who has cancer that they can still do office work because they don’t have to move, all white has to do is sit in a plane, but the thought that something might go wrong is overwhelming, like what if something happens to the cancer patient when he’s out? and blame the rockets, they knew about his illness, took a chance, and don’t care enough to let white see his own doctor, which is the only reason why he flew during college.

  144. brad says:

    thats stupid he needs to have job or he will be poor

  145. waste says:

    rockets really gambled on this one. Looks like a bust.

  146. glyceman says:


  147. Victor Smith says:

    White your inspire me, bro. I want to be just like you.

  148. ghostman91 says:

    mental health is a serious issue, gm’s should in no way have any authority over overriding medical staff decisions, no matter how good the player

    • KP says:

      That kid decided to override doctor’s decisions as they adviced him to not play professional basketball, and now he is acting like a 4 year old to ask the organisation to listen to the doctors? He said he could overcome his mental issues before the draft and now he is like a different person after he got his pay cheque.

  149. Chris Pual says:

    It’s really hard to overcome a metal illness. You guys have to just be more understanding because he can’t control his illness needs help.

    • john smith says:

      i have a metal illness, i can’t wait to go to Slayer concerts.

    • KB24 says:

      No one is refuting that mental illnesses are unfortunate and very hard to overcome. People dont like this kid because he knew he had anxiety issues with flight, knew that NBA players travel by plane a lot, but still decided to act like a four year old. This is entertainment for us as fans but for them its a job. If he knew he wouldnt be able to do the job beforehand, why even go for it and make such a big deal out of it?

    • Jimbo says:

      I would love to play in the NBA but I have a disability too, i can’t play ball very well, hmm maybe the rockets could sign me. At least I would be a body on the floor. Reality check, I feel bad too, but the guy chose the wrong profession.

    • Change needed says:

      In a way Whites issue highlights a critical issue missing in the American’s with Disabilitities Act. The Act SO requires schools to bend over backwards for people with disabilities that is fails to prepare many for the real world. If the NBA were a public school the Whites parents and lawyers would be making the league reschedule its games so someone with this disability could drive to every game. That’s just one of the sives your tax money is going down.

      • itsbigwes95 says:

        the rockets have to take blame for this too. they knew he had an illness and still drafted him knowing the what the consequences could be. something is missing from the story, like why won’t the rockets let white see his own doctor instead of one he’s uncomfortable with? yes he chose the wrong profession, but it did work in college because he had his own doctor, and the rockets won’t let something as easy as a different doctor help instead when you have a kid with all the potential in the world? i think the rockets are to blame. yes they offered a bus, but don’t care enough to have a different doctor. they probably just see it as they’ll get someone else later on and that’s why they don’t care that much

  150. John Doe says:

    I don’t get this – why don’t they just play him at home? And if he has the talent to make it worthwhile give him all the support you can.

    • Jimbo says:

      That would just be a nightmare. How would the team get used to a rotation?

    • Peter says:

      Yeah, they will pay a draft pick #16, who has never played the game in the NBA nor in the D League 3 millions for playing only at home…

  151. benny says:

    it’s easy to determine where this is headed. this is leon smith all over again. he’ll be out of nba for good once rockets get rid of him and that’s it.

  152. WhereAmazingHappens says:

    Talent talent talent blablabla. Every player in the NBA is talented but what really defines a player from a bum like Royce is the work ethic, determination, mental strenght, loyalty, respect and the willing and ability to overcome difficulties and injuries. He has none of that. Spoiled brats can’t and do not deserve to play at the high level.

    • Josh says:


    • RH says:

      Indeed, every player in the NBA has talent. It’s work ethic and willingness to do anything for a team that makes players stand out.

    • Eli Odell J. says:


    • dukefan says:

      None of us can truly understand how bad his condition is. He’s not just some rookie who thinks he’s better then everybody and want’s everything done his way; he has a serious psychological disorder. That being said, he could have spent a couple more years in college to not only become a better player, but to deal with his mental health.

  153. Reblogged this on Courtside Convo and commented:
    Royce needs to grow up before he loses everything.

  154. Thank you so much Jeff for saying this!! I am sympathetic to Royce for his mental health issues, it can’t be easy to battle such a condition. That said, I think his immaturity is shutting him out of a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is no employer that will provide the perfect ANYTHING. NBA players usually get the best of the best- they have the best doctors and nutritionists, they stay in the best hotels, eat the best food- where does he think he can go work and it be a better situation?

  155. Ted says:

    Didn’t he know he would have to fly BEFORE signing the 3 million dollar contract. I say get on the plane or go home.

  156. Ed says:

    My question is, didnt Royce White know beforehand that being an NBA player required extensive travel by plane? Imagine if Houston had a back to back with the Lakers. You cant get from Houston to L.A by car in a day.

  157. Tom Paul says:

    i knw the rockets should not of drafted this kid………………..they jus wasted a draft pick(they gav up so many players like perry jones,jared sullinger e.t.c)

  158. ised dav says:

    this person does not deserve a job. if i was to complain on all fronts about my job i’d get canned right away, no matter what talent because of the shenanigans

  159. Tom Paul says:

    why the hell did this kid even enter the nba draft if he was going 2 act like a child

    • Danny Green says:

      Good question. I was wondering the same thing. Not that the disorder is his fault, but he had to know this would be an issue before he entered the draft.

    • Jimbo says:

      He clearly chose the wrong profession. If I had a fear of flying I would not chosoe to be a pilot or a NBA player for that matter. It is outlandish to think the NBA should make some “protocol” to benefit one person with a disability. Should the NBA start taking in wheelchairs for injured NBA players to use during the game? No! I feel bad for your anxiety, but the NBA pays players to play ball and if you can show up you don’t get paid, reality check!

    • Imad Akel says:

      What protocol is he talking about? this can be dealt with in a case-by-case fashion. If you have a fear of flying, take the bus! Or a car! Or one of these house trailers rockstars tour in! its not like an NBA player or his team can’t afford one.

      Why does it have to be made into a big deal where a protocol is suddenly needed? I thought i read about this case earlier this season that special accommodations (i.e. just a friggin bus) will be made by the rockets to help this guy out. I do not understand what seems to be the problem?

      • Jones says:

        He was given a team bus to use. Obviously only possible for close games. Imagine coast to coast back to back games. Impossible. He actually flew in college. With him its about routine and knowing there is support. Think he wanted access to his own doctor whom he has built a relationship with rather than a unqualified team doc for example.

      • Jason says:

        the problem was that a bus ride from houston to toronto was too bloody long and he didn’t want to do that. I’ts a sad case, but I do agree it has to be dealt with case by case. A “protocol” will not be effective since this is not a common issue in the NBA.

      • imad akel says:

        why can’t he have access to his own doctor?
        I mean does this really boil down to a money or coverage issue? Is the doctor charging 1M$?

        there’s something in this story that is missing and vague. What does White want that Houston is not providing?

    • G. Henderson says:

      Just a little dialogue to White:

      ” Stop complaining and whining to the NBA for your mental health issues. That’s all on YOU!!! Handle it off the court. You’re getting paid for not even playing. Houston did whatever you asked for and you’re still crying about it? Man up dude. Just go to work or quit the NBA”

      • Eli Odell J. says:

        from what i can work out if they been payin him this far, a third the way through the season the boy’s got at least 500,000 dollars…… FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR WHAT!?!?!