Posts Tagged ‘Royce White’

Rockets’ White Won’t Go To D-League

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.

Rockets’ White Goes To D-League

HOUSTON – Maybe the first sign of progress was that this time Royce White didn’t react to the notion of being assigned to the NBA D-League by fire-bombing the Rockets organization via Twitter.

In fact, the 16th pick in the draft, who suffers from anxiety disorder and has butted heads with Rockets management since training camp, did not even Tweet a hint that he was joining the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in Bakersfield, Calif. and would be available to play in Sunday night’s game against the Jam.

The 6-foot-8 forward out of Iowa State 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. Sources have indicated that the next step in having him go to the D-League is part of a multi-week plan to fully integrate White back into the Rockets organization.

There is no timetable for White to return to the Rockets roster.

White Makes Things Harder For Himself

HOUSTON — Royce White has said he was not AWOL. He has said via Twitter that he is being fined $15,000 a day by the Rockets. He has said on his Twitter account that the Rockets were “inconsistent” in helping him. He tweeted several days ago that his employers were “low,” though that comment was eventually deleted from his timeline.

White reportedly told ESPN that he was willing to walk away from his NBA career. Then, a short time later, he backtracked a bit with another tweet:

“I’m not PLANNING to quit, but it if its between my HEALTH and BASKETBALL, health takes precedence.”

The point is, White has said a lot of different things since he left the Rockets following a game a week ago in Memphis, none of which would seem to be helping his cause as an NBA player or a would-be spokesman for those suffering from anxiety disorder.

Taken with the No. 16 pick in last June’s draft, the 6-foot-8 forward with the well-known condition was seen as either a bold gamble or the foolish waste of a valuable first-round choice by many around the league.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had to overrule advice against making the pick even from inside his own war room on draft night, but he believed White possessed the talent of a top five pick and was worth the gamble. Now that roll of the dice has the Rockets playing defense in a scenario that began with them holding out the only career lifeline.

Since that time, several NBA executives have said that if not for the Rockets, White might not have been drafted at all and never given his platform, which has been helpful in spreading awareness of mental health issues and hindrance to, it would seem, his own mental health.

White’s often stream-of-consciousness dialogue on Twitter has elicited both heart-felt support and vicious condemnation and has done little to close the breach that he has created between himself and the only NBA team that was willing to reach out to him.

From the beginning, the Rockets have been supportive of White’s needs and desires, renegotiating his contract in order to provide cars and RVs and drivers for road trips, due to his well-known fear of flying. They have provided him with even members of their staff to ride along as companions, and yet even that has led to this standoff.

White has claimed on Twitter that he is not AWOL, yet he fits the very definition of the acronym — Absent With Out Leave. The Rockets have been fining him for every day he misses practices and games, and also for not consulting with a mental health professional they have chosen.

He is certainly not the first rookie to try to talk his way into playing time, but suggesting that it would lower his anxiety and help his condition is pushing at the envelope.

White has said the media has misrepresented his side of the story and omitted facts, yet his only statements have been on Twitter. His latest on Friday evening:

“NBA might be a dream come true, but being UNHEALTHY isn’t, people will know I stood up for myself and what’s right. #NeverABadTime”

Whatever that is. Whatever he thinks that is.

He has a problem, a very real problem that is shared by millions all over the globe, and is very brave to talk about it openly. He can be a symbol of hope at the same time that he is a lightning rod for criticism.

However, this was never going to be an easy road, and Royce White keeps making it harder on himself.

White Fires Back At Rockets

HOUSTON – While the ongoing spat between the Rockets and Royce White shows no sign of ending, neither does the rookie’s inclination to keep digging the hole deeper.

After an insider told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that White was being fined for every day he remains away from the team or chooses not to attend sessions with a therapist the Rockets have arranged for him, the 21-year-old forward fired back with a barrage on Twitter:

– My #anxiety is fine, besides being disappointed in the communication, and worried about consistency and the effect that has on my health.

– I’m not saying anything inappropriate or anything thats wasn’t said or OMITTED by the organization, they have their media, this is mine.

– It’s NOT unprofessional to respond to misleading media provided by your employer, setting the record straight should be EXPECTED.

– I’m not saying anything negative about @HoustonRockets Im saying what I will and won’t stand for. Last Thing: #Mentalillness look it up.

The Rockets have hinted that White’s dissatisfaction stemmed from lack of playing time.

White, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, has not played at all this season and has been on the inactive list for the past four games. He did not attend practices Sunday or Tuesday, and did not show at the Toyota Center for Monday’s game against Miami or Wednesday against New Orleans.

General manager Daryl Morey reportedly told White in meetings last week that other players had earned playing time before him. White maintains that he has not been given a chance to show what he can do, and has claimed the Rockets are holding his anxiety disorder against him.

White has not attended sessions with Dr. Aaron Fink of the Baylor College of Medicine that have been set up by the Rockets.

About one hour before tipoff against the Hornets on Wednesday night, White seemed to raise the level of his social media vitriol by tweeting:

– “@HoustonRockets Fining me for saying I’m more COMFORTABLE with my own Doc. vs yours is for sure showing “support” to my health. That’s low!”

That tweet was later deleted from his Twitter timeline.

Rockets’ White AWOL Again

HOUSTON – The difficult path to a successful NBA career for rookie Royce White keeps getting harder.

After it was announced that the Rockets forward was among three rookies — also Donatas Motiejunas and Scott Machado — who were being sent to the NBA Development League, White once more did not attend practice on Tuesday.

White has been inactive for most games this season, including Monday night against the Heat when he did not sit on the bench.

“That’s tenuous and it’s tough to talk about something like that, but I think we can handle it internally,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “If he doesn’t work out, well, it’s tough to lose a draft choice.

“I feel bad for Royce and I feel very bad for the team. We’ve had internal repercussions which I’m not going to talk about.”

The Rockets knew that White suffers from generalized anxiety disorder when they chose him with the No. 16 pick in the draft last June.

Problems first surfaced when White did not show up for the start of training camp, which was held at the home of the Rockets’ D League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers. During that time, White and his representatives worked out a plan with the Rockets and the NBA which would allow him to travel to many road games by bus, since a fear of flying exacerbates his anxiety disorder.

It is believed White has missed other practices, though it is not known whether Tuesday’s absence was related to anxiety.

When asked why White did not attend practice, acting coach Kelvin Sampson said: “I haven’t talked to (general manager) Daryl (Morey). I didn’t realize he (White) wasn’t here today until we got to practice. I guess after this little deal, I’m going to find out what’s wrong. I’m not sure what’s wrong right now. We talked to Scott and D-Mo last night. Royce wasn’t at the game last night as far as I know.”

White,  in a statement released by his publicist Tuesday night, said: “In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder — due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets. As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress; but since preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.”

White claimed he is not AWOL.

“Any other response is inaccurate,” he said in his statement. “This is important to me, it is a health issue. I must advocate for my rights, it is a player-commodity league — the failure to meet my requests for support will end with me being unhealthy and that is not a consequence that I am willing to accept to play any sport.”

It has been customary for all Rockets rookies to spend some time in the D League. First-round picks Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris have been there the past two seasons and made the most of the experience. In addition, point guard Jeremy Lin said he used it to resurrect his career.

“For me personally, my experience in the D League helped my career go a little longer,” said Lin. “If I didn’t go to the D League when I got cut by Golden State, I’m not sure if Houston and New York pick me up if I never played in the D League the year before. It can be used as a positive in the right way.

“I think we’re all worried for (White). But he’s a tough kid and the best part about it is he’s a really good basketball player. So if he gets on that basket and he just is himself, you don’t have to worry about anything.”

Election Day: ‘Barack To Barack’

Kendall Marshall, the rookie point guard of the Suns did not specify politics or not Tuesday night. But since he asked….

The NBA community was part of the Twitter traffic as President Barack Obama won re-election in a race that generated financial contributions from around the league, from players to coaches to owners to commisioner David Stern, for the Democratic incumbent and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Royce White of the Rockets was poignant, DeJuan Blair of the Spurs celebrated, and Jason Richardson of the 76ers turned the phrase.

“Barack to Barack #Obama2012,” @jrich23 wrote as Obama closed in on a second consecutive White House win. (more…)

Dr. Drew Talks Royce White (Video)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When you have experts in a particular field it’s often beneficial to sit back, listen and learn a little bit before weighing with your own theories about certain topics.

The Game Time crew did exactly that when they dialed up Dr. Drew Pinsky for some insight into what Houston Rockets rookie Royce White is dealing with in regards to the anxiety disorder that has stirred up so much controversy:


White, Rockets On Road To A Solution

Adjusting to life in the NBA is often difficult for rookies. In the case of Royce White of the Rockets, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, it seems the adjustment could be a long and bumpy road that involves plenty of bus rides.

The 16th pick in the 2012 draft, White did not report to the start of training camp with the Rockets in McAllen, Tex. and now says he is is making plans to travel by bus to many road game this season.

Speaking to ESPN.com, White said:

“What it’s going to look like is every game that’s drivable, I’m going to get a bus for myself,” White said. “And I’m going to make that bus feel like home so that there’s a level of consistency in a job where inconsistency is very apparent because of the schedule. I’m going to try and level that out and make sure that my stress levels stay low and that my rest is regular and that my meals are regular and that as much as I can, draw consistency from a very inconsistent schedule. …

“People with mental illness, one of the most important things is that they have that consistency and routine. The girth of (my request) was, ‘Can I travel by bus to close enough games?’ “

Though the 6-foot-8, 260 pound forward never missed a college game at Iowa State, his condition — particularly a fear of flying — caused many NBA clubs to shy away in the draft, allowing the Rockets to scoop him up with one of their three first-round draft picks. The team knew it was taking a calculated risk, but with three picks and the potential upside to White’s talent, figured it was a worthwhile one.

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Royce White’s Draft Day … Uncut (Video)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’re a couple of months removed from Draft night, and training camp starts in a matter of weeks.

But this revealing “Hockumentary” on Royce White‘s Draft day journey from the Grantland Network is must-see work. For those of us still learning about the struggles folks with anxiety disorders deal with, the Rockets’ rookie gives us a window into that world.

WARNING: There is language not suitable for sensitive ears in this video:

Rockets Appear To Have Landed Asik





HANG TIME, Texas — Maybe it’s time the Rockets struck up a partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. You know the motto: “We always get our man.”

The Rockets appear set to go 2-for-2 in their pursuit of free agents, reeling in center Omer Asik from the Bulls just a week after landing point guard Jeremy Lin from the Knicks.

Chicago has until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday to match the Houston offer sheet, which is a similar $25.1 million bookend to the deal they gave Lin. But it seems the Bulls have already made their decision, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

And just as the Rockets spent that Saturday lockup up a replacement, the Bulls agreed Saturday with a player who could fill in for Asik.

“The Knicks signaled their intention to let Lin go when they reached a sign-and-trade agreement with Raymond Felton. The Bulls appear ready to sign center Nazr Mohammed to replace Asik, with Mohammed indicating via Twitter he is leaving the Thunder.

The Rockets had reached agreement with Asik in the first full day of free agency after meeting with him as soon as the free agency recruiting period began at midnight July 1. They tried to trade for Asik, a stellar defensive player off the Bulls’ bench, the past two seasons. He averaged 3.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game last season.

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