Royce White was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, but never played a single game for the team.
White suffers from an anxiety disorder, the details of which he has no hesitation making public with very little prodding. It comes with it a fear of flying, which obviously makes things difficult for someone who is expected to travel essentially non-stop through the course of the 82-game regular season.
The Rockets appeared to try to make things work with White, but their accommodations were never enough, and Houston eventually traded White to the Sixers for nothing more than “future considerations” and the rights to an international prospect.
Philadelphia’s new general manager, Sam Hinkie, worked in the front office for the Rockets last season, so maybe he saw how they handled White and felt he could do a better job in working around his restrictions. So far so good, at least at this early stage.
Certainly a fear of flying is not conducive to the NBA life.
Nevertheless, the 22-year old White is in Philadelphia and will participate in Friday’s media day as well as training camp, which runs from Saturday through Wednesday. …
In the meantime, new Sixers coach Brett Brown has been impressed with what he’s seen from the 6-foot-8, 260-pound White.
“It’s exciting to see what could happen if the physical side of getting him in great shape can collide with his talents,” Brown said during a media session on Wednesday afternoon.
White’s issue has never been talent; he definitely has potential, and looked good at times while averaging 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists for the Rockets’ D-League affiliate. He appeared in 16 games for them, and played 25.6 minutes per contest.
As is the case with many players, a lot of whether or not White ends up succeeding at the professional level is going to be up to him. He handled his disagreement with the Rockets very poorly last season, so an attitude adjustment as much as anything will be needed in order for White to take advantage of his fresh start.