Royce White ready for second chance
by Jason Wolf, USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA – Royce White walked out of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on Thursday dragging a tan suitcase with an embroidered 76ers logo behind him.
The talented but troubled power forward hasn’t traveled much lately.
And he has yet to play in an NBA game.
But the former Houston Rockets first-round draft pick is expected to make his debut with the 76ers on Friday in a preseason game against the Boston Celtics at the University of Delaware.
“I’ll be there tomorrow and I’ll be ready to play,” White said after Sixers practice Thursday. “I want to be able to show that I can play and be able to get with my teammates for the first time where we can play together and not against each other. I haven’t been on Evan [Turner]‘s or Thaddeus [Young]‘s or Spencer [Hawes]‘s team since back in the summer when we were playing open gym, so it will be good to be able to set a screen for somebody instead of on them.”
But while Sixers fans will get their first up-close look at the affable but oft-anguished White (6-8, 260), it may not be the last time he plays at the Bob Carpenter Center. The venue is home to Philadelphia’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, which begin their inaugural season Nov. 23 at Canton. And if White makes the Sixers roster, there’s a chance he could find himself in a Sevens jersey at times throughout the season.
White, the 16th overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft, has a sometimes debilitating anxiety disorder and prefers to travel by personal bus rather than plane. Air travel has triggered panic attacks. The 22-year-old never played a minute for Houston, instead spending much of last season either suspended or with the Rockets’ D-League affiliate.
“Whatever plan is best for him and whatever plan is best for our ability to at some stage include him in our program, [that's what we'll do],” Sixers coach Brett Brown said, “and I have no idea how that is going to end up, but that really is the end game. How do we help him? How … [For more on Royce White ready for second NBA chance with 76ers, click here.]