It isn’t that Houston rookie forward Royce White wants every say regarding his anxiety disorder and its handling by the NBA. Talking to Sirius XM radio, White broke down his reasoning for why he’s stayed away from the team and its D-League affiliate. Simply put, he doesn’t trust the reasoning of Rockets management for why he should play in the absence of NBA protocol. And if a solution doesn’t work to his liking, he said “chances are very high” he never plays a game in his NBA career.
White’s situation is obviously not one the Rockets or the league wants to discuss ad nauseum. The situation doesn’t paint them in the most accommodating light, after all. But by not reacting to each new development (Kevin McHale was reportedly very wary of answering questions about White last week) it could actually help them. Minimizing the discussion into a one-sided one led by White transforms it into just a rant from an outsider — and worse, an outsider willingly staying that way. White’s response is to be as eloquent as possible and make connections to how would you feel? He says he wants medical personnel to have the ultimate decision in his case, not his GM.
As transcribed by the Houston Chronicle, White likened his situation to constructing a building without a building code or any standards. Would you feel safe to work there, he asks?
“I think that the chances are very high,” White said in an interview on Sirius/XM radio. “And I say that just like I said before the draft that the chances were very high that I didn’t even get drafted. Because business in America, as we all know, is about one thing and that’s convenience and efficiency. And oftentimes what the efficient thing to do is not the healthiest thing to do, right? That’s why we still sell cigarettes. 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.”
“I don’t see that going to another team would help anything because no matter what team I go to a protocol is still going to need to be put in place,” White said. “It’s a league thing. The reality is that it is not Houston’s fault. As much as we always want to try and blame one side or the other and try and find the black and white in it, it’s not black and white. It’s gray. And 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. And that’s tough for anybody to do.
“If there were no safety or health codes on how to construct a building, the people who are going to try to build a building tomorrow are going to be in trouble. That’s just the reality here so I don’t really think going to another team is something that would be better. And it’s not something that I want to do. I want to play for Houston.”
“This is about – in general – who has executive authority in medical incidents or on every day operations because the reality here is that it’s just not logical for somebody like Daryl Morey, for example, who is my GM, to say yea or nay on anything regarding medical situations,” White said. “And that’s kind of where the rule stands now, is that a GM has the right to decline the medical recommendations of even their own doctors. And that’s just not safe to me. That’s just what I think.”
The Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen reported that White has begun working out with a Rockets intern to get back into playing shape, which White later said was the first step, cleared by doctors, to a plausible road back to playing full-time. If he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time this season the Rockets have overcome a roster turned nearly completely over.
H/t Ultimate Rockets
What do you think of his chances of ever playing in the NBA?
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