For a lot of fans who know mostly of the Royce White situation via twitter, here is first thing they noticed during White’s interview with the Off The Dribble show on Sirius XM:
He’s not some irrational, crazy lunatic.
He always was rational and measured if you heard him speak, but his portrayal has moved another direction. In part because of his own rants on twitter, which can come off as unhinged, as well as his own public statements slamming the Rockets.
But his Thursday radio interview he made it clear it’s not personal, he sees this as the kind of workplace safety issue we’ve all seen around the office.
The other thing that becomes clear is this is all about power and who has it.
“This is about who — in general — has executive authority in medical situations…” White said during the interview with Justin Termine and former NBA player Mateen Cleaves. “Right now a GM does not have to listen to the medical advice of even his own doctors.”
What White talked about continually is having a protocol in place. He wants the doctors to put in place a protocol that clearly gives him a lot more power and leeway in how he is dealt with by the organization, something White says the doctors want. The organization, as one might imagine, is not looking to give up power and create new precedents in what is a very bottom line business.
White remained vague on the details about what he wants, save to say it was about how he is handled by the organization. He said the travel situation was not at the heart of the issue now. He also said that he did not report to the D-League because that was a change from the plans he and the team had been working on (something the team has denied).
“There’s right and there’s wrong, and there’s safe and not safe, and right now things are not safe,” White said.
But White did not come off as bitter — despite not having received a paycheck yet due to the fines he has incurred.
“I think everybody should understand this situation is about being medically logical,” White said. “This is not about the Rockets trying to screw me over or the me trying to screw the Rockets over.”
He talked about this being sort of a trail blazing situation.
“I feel that this is a new situation and everybody involved has real growing pains. And that’s what they are experience here,” White said, adding that usually mental issues in the NBA were dealt with on the back end after they were a problem and not proactively.
Which I would say is sort of true, but the reality is that teams will put up with a lot of crap from someone (say, Dennis Rodman) if he can produce on the court. Once that production slides there is less tolerance. And White has yet to produce anything.
Plenty of Rockets fans are calling for him to be traded, something not likely because Houston couldn’t get anything for him even if they wanted to move him, and there are no signs they do.
“I don’t see how going to another team will help anything, the protocol still needs to be in place. It’s not Houston’s fault…” White said. “I want to be in Houston. I love the city and the fans I’ve met in person have been supportive.”
White admitted there is a chance he would never play in the NBA. He said it worked in college because there were fewer games and far less travel — he had 15 flights in college, there were 96 scheduled flights for the Rockets this season.
Listening to White didn’t make this sound any closer to getting dealt with. He feels that this stand is something he has to take, the Rockets are not looking like they are going to make more concessions. White may not play for this season at least, maybe longer.
Which in the end feels irrational for everyone involved.