Call me skeptical, I want to see him out on the court, but we may see Royce White playing a little for Philadelphia this season.
White could play his first game as a Sixer Friday, in a preseason game against the Celtics. At least that’s the plan, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.
Originally the plan was for White to travel with the team to Europe for preseason games, but doctors scratched that idea. He stayed home. White battles a generalized anxiety disorder and among the symptoms is a fear of flying. That is going to make life in the NBA challenging, it led to confrontations in Houston. The Rockets drafted White but he never played for them, this summer he was traded to the Sixers.
Friday night’s game is a home one for the Sixers, making the travel issue moot. Sixers coach Brett Brown thinks there is a place for White on the team.
“I see a talented player that is wildly creative, wants to do everything,” Brown said. “We want to put him in a real clean role initially and then let him use his creative instincts, but it’s based again on his fitness. He’s very talented, different talented. He’s like DeJuan Blair, when we coached him in San Antonio. He had a different feel for the game – passing, running, creative. I see similarities with Royce.”
The relationship between White and the Philly management is better than in Houston. The other advantage the Sixers have is playing in the Northeast — he can get to many more games by car or train from Philadelphia than he could from Houston.
We still have no idea how all this will play out. Ultimately White doesn’t have a lot of leverage here — if he is a DeJuan Blair level player that’s not enough to get teams to change how they operate — but maybe he has found a place he can make it work. At least for a season (the Sixers do not have to pick up his option for next season).