Royce White has been clear from the start that he wanted to help change the perception of people battling mental illness. He was the No. 16 pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2012 draft but the potential point forward (he had those kinds of skills coming out of college) has never played a second in the NBA.
White battles a generalized anxiety disorder, which includes a fear of flying and is eased by a steady and predictable routine. Those are two things that don’t really mesh with the NBA lifestyle and how to handle it led to a lot of tension between White and the Rockets. He was traded to the 76ers this offseason where he may be seen as more of an expiring contract.
White still wants to make a difference and he may have found a way to do that — helping open a wellness center in Houston, something reported at the Houston Chronicle’s Rockets blog.
On Wednesday morning, White announced a partnership with his non-profit organization Anxious Mind’s Inc. and Bee Busy Wellness Center to create the Royce White Institute of Mental Health on the city’s southwest side…
White, who has been open about his own struggles with an anxiety disorder, said that he thinks every city should have a center where free mental healthcare is offered. He started the Anxious Mind’s Inc. group while in college at Iowa State, and this is the organization’s first partnership. He said he hopes to see it grow.
That’s a good cause, and good on White for using his name to help get this open. It has the potential to do a lot of good.
Helping people in that way would mean a lot more than an NBA career.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.