On the surface, the impasse that has apparently been reached between the Houston Rockets and their rookie first round draft pick Royce White seems complicated, and the details seemingly make it difficult to choose sides.
But look a little deeper, and you’ll see that it’s the team, and not the player, that’s truly the victim in this process.
White has a self-disclosed anxiety disorder; it’s complicated his willingness to travel with the team, and has affected even his ability to perform the basic job requirement of simply showing up to work each day as scheduled.
White has gone on Twitter to rant about how he feels unsupported, and meanwhile, the Rockets are dealing with the reality that they may have wasted a valuable draft pick on someone who may not have any intention of trying to make it a priority to succeed at the NBA level.
The latest twist in the drama between the rookie and the organization is the team’s stance that they will begin fining White for every day he’s absent. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has the details:
The conflict between the Rockets and rookie Royce White is escalating, with no end in sight.
While blaming the Rockets for failing to consistently support his treatment for anxiety issues, White is being fined every day he remains away from the team or chooses not to attend sessions with a therapist the club has arranged for him, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
White and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey have declined interview requests.
It was brave of White to disclose his disorder initially, but at this point, it would seem he’s using it as a crutch. The Rockets organization can’t possibly provide support if White doesn’t show up for work, and his accusations that the team won’t support him are coming from afar, while he continues to refuse to report as scheduled.
The only choice the team has is to fine White now, in hopes that he’ll realize that he needs to at least make the effort here to try to work through his issues. We’re all rooting for this to work, but if White continues to rant on Twitter about his situation and not show up to try to work things out, that support from those observing the situation will only deteriorate at an extremely rapid rate.