A piece on ESPN.com the other day shed conclusive light upon the curious Royce White situation from last week when the Houston Rockets’ rookie forward decided to skip the start of training camp citing his anxiety disorder. In the article, the author, Myron Medcalf, explains that for White, the decision revolves around a desire to ensure a degree of trust from his new employer.
As all of the facts have finally come to the forefront, we have a clear understanding of the saga and, while its somewhat understandable, its rather disturbing. Medcalf in the article goes on to say that, “when White called me Wednesday night, he wanted to make sure that his message would be heard by the masses.” That statement sort of confirmed some of the suspicions many of us had held.
For Royce, it seems, this whole ordeal was about two things: 1) exposure and awareness for mental health and 2) assessing the level of trust extant between him and the Rockets. Unfortunately for White, this isn’t the amateur ranks anymore and executing what essentially amounted to a calculated holdout is not the way to handle things in the pros.
Medcalf sums my sentiments well when he closes saying:
But he is potentially risking his NBA future by doing things this way. He could alienate his teammates. He could adversely affect his relationship with the franchise and the league.
Access to a bus might ultimately give White that sense of security he’s always desired. What he may not realize, however, is that the Rockets have to trust him too.
Unless White is really, really good, teams won’t stand for such shenanigans. He’s off to a very, very poor start in his NBA career.
Teams tolerated Dennis Rodman because he possessed hall of fame level talent on the basketball court. But something like this won’t fly for a marginal rotation player.
I had high hopes for White. Not many people his size can pass the basketball the way he showed he can in the summer league. But he’s raw. If he’s punished by the coaching staff for this stunt–something I’ve said I hope is not the case–he really will only have himself to blame. I understand the cause and I understand the motivation, but how Royce White handled this situation was not the proper way to go about things.