There have been reams and reams of words flying off the fingers of Royce White the past two months, but at this point the only thing that seems clear is that the Houston Rockets rookie forward remains unwilling to play for the team.
White on Sunday refused an assignment to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ NBA Development League affiliate, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle also obtained a 463-word statement from the 6-foot-8 forward in which he criticized the Rockets for failing to heed the advice of his doctors. White suffers from anxiety disorder.
“It saddens and frightens me to know that in this situation all the decision makers involved have been informed of all the medical dynamics, and yet still refuse to adhere to medical sensibility,” White’s statement reads, in part. “In hindsight of the recent tragedies in this country, that had mental illness variables, you would think it would encourage people to act more proactively in that arena.”
This is not the first time White has refused a D-League assignment. He did so in November and took to Twitter, where he unleashed a lengthy stream of consciousness with many of the same generalized complaints. White has not identified any specific manifestations of the Rockets’ lack of cooperation with his doctors’ advice. He has said he feels the Rockets have misled the public about the way they have handled his situation, and he repeatedly called his workplace “unsafe.”
“I do wish to play, but I only intend to do so with the collaboration and recommendation of trained professionals,” White’s statement reads. “The purpose of a doctor’s confirmation is to ensure that health decisions are made in the sole interest of health and not conflicted with business. My only hope is that decision makers involved realize that doctors are the only logical source to decide action.”
White was the No. 16 selection in this year’s NBA Draft. He has not played this season.
The Rockets are not in a position to move on from White, as they still owe him the remainder of his rookie contract. But they are expected to sign swingman James Anderson, a former first-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs, as early as today. White’s full statement can be found here.