The question seemed to catch Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale totally off guard.
What is Royce White's status with the team?
''Good question,'' McHale said, taking an extended pause to contemplate his answer. ''I don't know. Royce has kind of been away from us.''
The 16th overall pick in the June draft hasn't been around all season while he spars with the Rockets on how best to deal with his anxiety disorder and overall mental health. White has been vocal on Twitter, at times expressing frustration with the Rockets' perceived unwillingness to be accommodating to his condition. He tweeted last week that the Rockets had yet to approve a mental health protocol that would allow him to return to work.
''Should I QUIT playing (because of) a (hashtag) MentalHealth protocol isn't in place?'' White tweeted. ''OR should we PUT 1 in place.''
When McHale was asked about White on Wednesday night before a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the coach reacted as if the swingman was one...