Sunday, December 30th, 2012 at 2:31 pm  |  44 responses

Royce White Issues Statement Refusing His D-League Assignment

A few days ago, the Houston Rockets assigned rookie forward Royce White to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, hoping they could start him in the D-League after the 6-8 White missed the first couple months of the season while disagreeing with the organization over how to properly handle his anxiety disorder. Making an already-messy situation even messier, White has released a statement saying he will not be joining the Valley Vipers. Courtesy of NBA.com, the full statement is below:

We say there is such an unknown element to mental health in this country, due to the number of people who are not diagnosed. This element also makes it a tough demographic to support.

I agree.

However, it saddens and frightens me to know that in this situation all the decision makers involved have been informed of all the medical dynamics, and yet still refuse to adhere to medical sensibility. In hindsight of the recent tragedies in this country, that had mental illness variables, you would think it would encourage people to act more proactively in that arena. You would think that decision makers who are not well informed about mental health, would take the consultation and recommendation of those who are. You would think we would start to do everything possible to not let the tragic consequences befall us first, before we ask the logical question, “why?”, “who knew?” “how could we have helped?. Why not take a proactive approach of “who knows?” “how can we listen?”, “how can we support now?”

I do wish to play, but I only intend to do so with the collaboration and recommendation of trained professionals. The purpose of a doctor’s confirmation is to ensure that health decisions are made in the sole interest of health and not conflicted with business. My only hope is that decision makers involved realize that doctors are the only logical source to decide action.

There is an admitted lack of knowledge on behalf of the Rockets and the NBA, it becomes transparent as they choose to forego the knowledge of trained professionals and make independent decisions for something as complex as mental health without consulting any doctors. The Rockets have told me in recent conversations that it is their right to decline even their own doctors’ recommendations. The concept of not listening to medical consultants in medical situations is alarming. It is also alarming that a player is susceptible to fines for simply adhering to the recommendation of doctors.

It is true that accommodating mental health can be very tough and complex, however, sometimes the only reasonable solution to doing what is right is doing what is tough. To portray that the Rockets have been supportive to me is fundamentally incorrect.

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.

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  • http://twitter.com/KUrocks38 KUrock38

    White is hiding behind his mental illness. He is a immature child.

  • http://twitter.com/ChillFrom91Til Allan

    We need a “wrap it up” box like in Chappelle’s Show

  • JML-G

    go do some office work, Royce – everybody was understanding, but if also gonna whine and release statements bout everything thats not going your way, your time in the NBA will come to its end asap.

  • shockexchange

    Royce, the Shock Exchange gets it. You’re not the typical dumb jock. You are a complex, deep thinker, and want to be respected for your intelligence. Now carry yo’ crazy behind out on the basketball court and get your “George McGinnis” on.

  • Ben.q

    Rockets please hire the A-Team. Hannibal and Face can solve your issues……..ask B.A.

  • The Philosopher


  • spit hot fiyah

    r.i.p. nba career
    also write a book

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I’ve only read the title and I am already on the floor laughing….what an absurd dude…I’m so excited to read this now lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    man I don’t even know…I understand viewing White as a good guy and a bad guy in this situation. You can’t really make a judgement on the Rocket’s organization or White because only they know exactly what is going on.

  • M Cho

    Don’t D-League teams travel on buses and not planes? If so, you’d think he’d be happier. Gotta start somewhere, rook!

  • dmac

    people on here calling him immature because he chose not to play because he has mental health issues is absurd. Coming in the rockets knew of his issues and they still drafted him so its up to them to make accommodations for him.

  • idontknowwattoput8

    As a person who also suffers from extreme anxiety, this saddens me that people do not respect the issue as they should. It’s very clear that the people in the comments here also don’t understand the issue fully. I couldn’t attend the college that I got accepted to and dreamed of going to because of my anxiety problem. I’m sure Royce is in a very similar situation. People saying just get over it don’t understand. You can’t just “get over” something that is mentally wrong with you. The least the Rockets could do is try to help the guy by offering different types of therapy. Mental health should be considered equally as important as physical health.

  • EJ

    It’s just an anxiety disorder. He won’t physically be hurt if he did as he was told. And why go to the L knowing you’re going to have to fly and do things you were gonna refuse from the start

  • Redd

    They did & he didn’t go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    dude needs to gtfo now. Enough is enough

  • John Dolk

    1st world problems.. Quit whining and start living the dream..

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Sounds like they been trying to help.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    I kinda do think he’s being stubborn

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Cut him and move on

  • idontknowwattoput8

    From what I’ve read, they haven’t done enough and that’s why he’s pissed. I guess only the Rockets and Royce White will truly know.


    How do you measure what is enough in this situation? Royce has a professional basketball team that he’s done nothing for attempting to do everything they can to help him. He has to be willing to return the favor and cooperate if possible. The D-League seems like a good start. You can play, travel via bus, and stay in shape. He can become somewhat comfortable with the routine of a professional sports team. Sounds fair to me on the side of the Rockets. Royce has got to step up to the plate at this point.

  • Redd

    I mean maybe there’s more to it and Royce has tried to be humble & not throw them under the bus..but he has been vocal but never mentioned exactly what the issue is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    have you seen any sort of therapist, and if so has it helped?

  • idontknowwattoput8

    I have and no, it did not help. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get help though. My case was just extraordinary. I feel that with enough help anyone can get over anxiety.

  • idontknowwattoput8

    I don’t think it’s a job for a therapist since you mainly talk about feelings and getting over former trauma. To get help for something like anxiety, you need to see a psychologist or behavioral psychologist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    that’s what I meant by therapist sorry…wait so have you gotten over your anxiety? how?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    i’m just curious

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor


  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    All Yanks see therapists dude!

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Speaking of needing therapy…. TSE is the man

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    agreed. Millions for playing a sport! Dude go work for the man for 12 bucks an hour an see how that goes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    not true, only the fat ones….oh….

  • http://www.facebook.com/vin.quinn.5 Vin Quinn

    get checked for lyme disease or mercury/metal poisoning. that was my case. i had the worst anxiety anyone has ever seen. i was institutionalized and no meds worked. i was normal.. and all the sudden im crying 24/7, banging my head into walls to make it stop, screaming.. and this went on for MONTHS. its a much longer story.. but there are many reason for anxiety.. anxiety is a warning that something is wrong.. and it can be environemntal.. or physical. btw.. its over now. no mroe anxiety. i beat it. its gone. my head is clear again.

    if you wnt to talk more email me..vin1382@hotmail.com

  • Sammy

    If he was an All-Star the Rockets would bend over backwards to get the right doctors but he’s a rookie and he probably wouldn’t play over Chandler Parsons and Marcus Morris anyway…sad to say but suck it up or retire dude

  • http://www.facebook.com/vin.quinn.5 Vin Quinn

    i responded to the other guy up there about my anxiety. i had the worst anxiety anyone(professionals also), had ever seen. i was institutionalized. but i beat it. email me if you want to chat vin1382@hotmail.com

  • Got One for Yah!

    Grow a pair Royce!…Stop using the net and go to your Doc’S appointment.

  • PAUX

    ROYCE, JUST QUIT ALREADY. rockets needs a player not a mental patient. Houston rockets is a basketball team not a charity for crazy person. *sorry for my bad english*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003246310246 Jason Carter

    im so glad this dude didnt fall later in the draft..he potentially could of landed on the celts..

  • TV63

    He’s not interested in meeting them half way. He wants complete control on what games he plays , where and how many minutes. He’s putting these demand basically on a prescription pad to try to force Rockets to do what he wants. WInk Wink Hey Doc put in your note I am to play X amt of minutes only home games. They have bent over backwards for him with hiring a companion to be with him on bus trips to games ect. He still refused.

  • RV6

    If you have followed this from day one, you’ll see White is still lacking maturity. That’s not to say his anxiety disorder is due to that, but it’s not helping him deal with this complex situation. He downplayed his disorder at draft time. Blasted the team on twitter early on. He was practicing with the team before training camp. Then, he went AWOL for media day and training camp. He said soon after the team WAS being supportive and admitted to not handling this as well as he could have..but now he’s saying they haven’t been supportive at and it’s all the team’s fault? He praised the rockets for taking a chance on him, which basically showed him they DID understand he could be competent, but now the team is misinformed and doesn’t know what he can or can’t do? He’s only 21. He has a lot of growing up to do, like most at that age, and that has nothing to do with his disorder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    He hasn’t played a single NBA minute. If any other rookie was as defiant as he’s been, they’d be cut in a heartbeat.

  • Omar

    He would be good in the D-League. He won’t have to fly.

  • http://twitter.com/stevefoxpoetry Steve Fox

    This is quite the interesting story. I’ll have to dig deeper but, on the surface, the concept of mental health is very important. Especially in a league of over-paid teenagers and young adults. Now if the Rockets have ignored the doctors, this is bullshit. But if there has been some kind of dialogue between the franchise and the medical personnel, then all is well. I guess it will all come out in the wash. Let’s see if the facts show themselves within the season.

  • Pat

    I am a health care professional that has spent months working with mental health patients. Anxiety is a real issue but once medicated a large portion of therapy is left to the desire of the patient. It’s not easy but the patient has to work hard and be willing to experience uncomfortable situations.

    Royce is being unreasonable. The Rockets have set up medical appointments for him that he has decided not to attend and have made the D-League an option as a sort of compromise that he is too proud to accept. As much as the Rockets took a chance on White, it was ultimately his decision to enter the NBA. He knew this would be difficult and knew the expectations of the job. By entering the draft, he accepted those stipulations and if he did so while knowing it was unlikely he’d ever get over his anxiety he should be held responsibility for his recklessness and negate his contract. Similar example would be a hot shot student out of an IVY League school is recruited by a consulting company. The job entails cross country travel 85% of the time. The student knows they have problems flying and the anxiety will negatively impact their health. The student has two choices, work through the issue prior to accepting the job, or turning the job down initially. The company should not be held responsible for the applicant making the wrong decision. It may be jaded but my take on the issue is that White has turned his mental illness into a crutch. His talent has always enabled him to make selfish and exagerated demands and still be highly tauted. He needs to realize that the world isn’t always fair, the Rockets have reasonably accomadated his needs but now it is up to White to decide if he is willing to make such a leap or if he is willing to step back, forfeit his contract, and move on with his life. I do, however, guess that while he is highly intelligent, he probably did not spend a lot of time setting him self up academically for a next move (something he should have done if he truly did not feel he would be able to handle the job description).