Royce White is yo-yoing back and forth between the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers after a miscommunication had him thinking he was going to finish the year out in Hosuton working out in preparation for next year. It is becoming less and less likely that the Rockets' 16th overall pick in this year's draft will log any time for his team this year.
The constant back and forth between the talented forward and the team about the best way to manage his anxiety disorder has opened up discussions about mental health issues in sport. That has been a great positive of all this. However, White has also struggled at various times to keep his emotions in check, often taking to Twitter to vent his frustrations. He has come off as both an advocate and unprofessional.
He stayed away from the Rockets while things straightened out before finally reporting to the Vipers. In 12 games, he averaged 9.6 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game in 25.9 minutes per game. White was getting playing time and working his way back into shape.
And then last week, he left the team unannounced again and returned to Houston on the advice of his doctors, according to his Twitter account. White said he was moving back to Houston to begin preparing for next season. Why he couldn't do that in a joint statement witht he Rockets is an entirely different question.
It appears this was a miscommunication on the Rockets' part and White is back in Rio Grande Valley to finish the season, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday. It is good that this got cleared up and there was not a whole other "thing" involving White and the Rockets.
It is a good thing that the communication lines have reopened and the two are working to get White on the court this year. The saga this year has been hard for both sides. White is looking out for his own health while the Rockets are looking to make him the best player he can be to contribute to the team.
There are still lots of hurdles to clear though for White.
He will not play for Houston this year. But next year, if he is ready to play, he will have to face the hurdles of the rigors of an NBA schedule. The Rockets and White have a protocol to handle his anxiety disorder, but implementing whatever that plan is in practice will be the difficulty of his first full season in the NBA.
The saga, it would seem, is just beginning for White and has a few more twists and turns before White finally takes the court.