Houston Rockets Royce White demoted to D-League; Doesn’t want to be treated as “commodity”

  • Frank Santos
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Unfortunately for Royce White, this isn’t Iowa State anymore.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Long before he was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, Royce White’s anxiety issues were well documented. In fact, they were probably the reason White fell as far as he did in the draft to begin with. However, the Rockets felt like he was worth the gamble, but early on, that doesn’t seem to be the case for either party. This started with White’s fear of flying, continued with him needing special traveling accommodations, and has escalated to him being demoted to the D-League.

The demotion has complex reasoning, and the team isn’t quite divulging all the details. It seems that for whatever reason, White was unable to attend practice, and a game, which led to the Rockets releasing a statement via GM Daryl Morey deeming him “unavailable” to the team, and eventually leading to his demotion to the team’s Rio Grande D-League squad.

White took to twitter to defend himself about the demotion, and the situation in general with the Rockets. White cited that his health, and his battle with anxiety will always be his priority over basketball, and that he refuses to be treated as a “commodity” by the team. He also clarified that flying was not the issue at hand that led to this situation coming to a head.

White had many more tweets about the subject that can be seen here.

This is really a tough one for both sides, and there is no right answer to this predicament.

Depression, and anxiety, is nothing to take lightly; it is a real-life disease that millions of people battle everyday. White’s health SHOULD be his first priority, and it is definitely more important than dribbling a basketball. However, the Rockets are running a business, and he will be treated as a “commodity,” and an employee, because that is exactly what White is. To ask the Rockets to treat White differently than all the other players on the team probably isn’t realistic.

On the other hand, one would think the Rockets would have established these boundaries with White before they used a first round pick on him. Both sides should have ironed out some rules and regulations before deciding to make a business venture together, and since the Rockets ultimately had the decision on whether to draft White or not, the onus should be on them.

I sincerely hope that White continues to fight, and win his battle with his anxiety, and that the situation can become workable for both parties. Unfortunately, it is hard to see a scenario where that happens unless White is willing to make some serious concessions.

That won’t stop me from rooting for it though.

By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Site Manager

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