A report on Wednesday afternoon on blog.chron.com by Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen said that Royce White is close to returning to the Rockets where he will begin playing with their D-League Affiliate the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In a call into a morning show on 97.9 FM, White said he is planning to report to the Valley Vipers on February 11th pending “paperwork” with the team.
Royce White smiles for a picture after being drafted by the Houston Rockets
A person with knowledge of the plan says the Rockets would announce White’s return under a written agreement including protocol White requested be in his contract. According to White, the team and he are “in the 12th hour” of the agreement and the last holdup is “waiting on everybody to get the right paperwork done and stuff.”
I’d be lying if I said that last quote didn’t scare me a little bit. This is a player, due to no fault of his own, who suffers from BPD (bipolar disorder) and his mind could change at any time. There are about 17 days until he expects to officially report to the Valley Vipers.
If he does report, White would join the likes of Terrel Harris, Andrew Goudelock, Hassan Whiteside, and Donatas Motiejunas with the Valley Vipers. It’s doubtful he can make an impact on the Houston Rockets this season but they can use all the help they can get, losing 8 of their last 9 games while barely clutching onto a .500 record.
The potential for a feel good story is there with White since the Rockets haven’t given up on the oft-troubled forward. A lot of teams would have given up by now on a player who DRAFTEXPRESS.com‘s best case scenario pro player comparison was Boris Diaw. If he can triumph his anxiety issues and become a productive pro player, the Houston Rockets will have laid the blueprint for dealing with mental health issues among pro athletes.
By Cole Krueger
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