Royce White leaves NBDL team
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Royce White, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder and was playing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, tweeted that he has been advised by the team doctor that he leave the team and work out in Houston.
White’s disorder includes panic attacks, a fear of heights and traveling — especially by plane — and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The Houston Rockets drafted White No. 16 in the 2012 June draft and knew his background when they selected him. It started off as a feel-good story. A progressive NBA franchise took a chance on a talented player with a sometimes debilitating anxiety.
But the good feelings disintegrated in training camp when the two sides failed to agree on how White’s disorder should be addressed on a daily basis.
White wanted a protocol in writing to cover as many situations as possible. For instance, if White’s bus was delayed by weather while the team flight arrived on time and he missed a practice or shoot-around, he didn’t want to be fined the same amount as a guy who overslept and missed it. If White has an anxiety attack, he wants time to recover.
White had demanded a mental health protocol, and the parties could not find common ground, leading to a stalemate and White’s suspension from the Rockets on Jan. 6.
The Rockets reinstated White on Jan. 26 and announced the two sides had reached an agreement and he reported Vipers on Feb. 12 and averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 12 games.
After a slow start, White had been playing better with his best game a 23-point, 9-rebound performance against the Austin Toros on March. 6.… [For more on Royce White leaves NBDL team, working out in Houston, click here.]