The equation was pretty straightforward: Royce White the on-the-court player wasn’t worth the accommodations required for Royce White off the court. Teams will not phrase it that way, it may not be fair, but it’s the reality of his situation.
White was battling an anxiety disorder that includes a fear of flying, and he wanted accommodations to help him adjust. Teams felt the couldn’t, or they wouldn’t. As one executive told Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN in talking about Larry Sanders — the Bucks star dealing with depression and anxiety issues — team’s don’t deal well with handling of mental issues.
White’s potential as a 6’8″ point forward had him drafted No. 16 by the Rockets — it was his honesty about his mental condition that saw him fall that low back in 2012 — and talent intrigues. When the story of Sanders stepping away to get himself right before signing another contract came out White tweeted that he would like to keep playing (hat tip to D.J. Foster at Fox Sports).
A return for White would be a process, one that would take time, but there is a path. It would start in the gym working on a training program, and then would jump to a Summer League roster. Then he can build off that with a stint in the D-League. Then go from there.
It wouldn’t be easy, but it’s far from impossible. NBA teams will give talented players numerous chances. White just has to show on the court he is worth another chance.