Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Interim head coach Kelvin Sampson was unable to update the Rockets media on how rookie forward Royce White was handling his D-League demotion. Why? Royce White was not present for the Miami game and he missed his team's practice today.
I'm beginning to worry about Royce White. Royce White's anxiety disorder was a known red flag during the NBA draft but Rocket's head coach Kevin McHale pleaded with Houston's management to take a flyer on the gifted forward. There were some hiccups during training camp, but by the start of the season it seemed as though Royce White was in the same situation as his fellow Rockets rookies: he would patiently wait for his chance to make an impact. After Friday's match up with the Grizzlies it was reported that Royce White was out indefinitely with migraines. On Saturday Royce tweeted the following:
For the record, I'm not injured... Not even a little bit. #Truth— Royce White (@Highway_30) November 11, 2012
Prior to Friday's game, Royce had been repeatedly on the inactive list alongside Scott Machado. There is something going on with Royce White's situation that the Rockets front office is desperately trying to bury. I think it's tellingly inexplicable that the White transportation dilemma was not resolved until a week into training camp. Houston Chronicle reporter Jonathan Feigen shed some light on the situation following today's practice:
Sampson confirmed White skipped practice and said doesn't think White was at game last night.Told others D-League decision then.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 13, 2012
Missing games for "migraines" and then tweeting about a lack of injury seems a little rebellious. Skipping practice without any explanation to the coaching staff seems downright juvenile.
Fox Sport's Mark Berman interviewed Rockets owner Les Alexander on the subject of Royce White. Here's what Les had to say:
"That's tenuous and it's tough to talk about something like that," Alexander said.
"I think we are going to handle it internally, but it's tough. If he doesn't work out, well it's tough to lose a draft choice."
And if that happens?
"I would feel bad for Royce and I would feel very bad for the team," Alexander said.
The Rockets have not said yet how they will penalize White for being away from the team.
"We have internal repercussions which I'm not going to talk about," Alexander said.
I think it's astounding that Les would even mention the possibility of losing a draft choice. Les' comments are very telling of just how bad things may have become between Royce White and the Houston Rockets. Is it possible that Royce White's anxiety disorder will prevent him from ever setting foot on an NBA court during the regular season? Only time will tell what is really going on with Royce White, right now the waters remain murky.