Houston Rockets rookie Royce White is prepared to walk away from the NBA. White has an anxiety disorder, and is deathly afraid of flying. He has not played at all this season, and will meet with Rockets GM Daryl Morey Monday to discuss his situation.
Royce White, the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, made the Rockets aware of his anxiety disorder, and both sides worked out a compromise where he could travel to some games by bus, and others by airplane, USA Today reports.
He flew to Detroit for the Rockets season opener against the Pistons, and then drove to Atlanta and Memphis. He has not played yet this season.
White missed Monday's home game against the Miami Heat, and has been absent from practice since Tuesday, The AP reports.
The Rockets say they will fine him for every game and practice he misses and every time he misses therapist sessions which have been arranged by the team, ESPN reports, but White feels his team has been "inconsistent" in helping him deal with his anxiety order.
White tweeted Friday that he doesn't want to quit the NBA, but if he has to choose between his health and basketball, he will choose his health. Thursday, the player went on a rant about how he'd be fined another $15,000 because his therapist could only do phone sessions, and he felt he should be able to meet in person.
He tweeted that he hopes "Dr Phink doesn't have to do anymore phone appointments" because his fines were going to be "out of this world."
Later, White tweeted an apology to Dr Fink (he had misspelled his name in previous tweets) saying he's a "cool guy."
Twitter's reaction to White's "issues" hasn't been entirely supportive. According to the Houston Press, @Flloyd_Ray tweeted to White (@Highway_30) that his asthma was "more serious than" White's "bullsh** problem," and @bgossett tweeted that the player was not only making himself "look bad," but he was also making Iowa State "look bad," and that he should "quit tweeting and go play." @Publius13 asked the 21 year old player why he chose to join the NBA knowing he would have to endure a "vigorous" traveling schedule, and @TylerCJennings went on a rant saying he has anxiety too, but he doesn't use it as an "excuse."
Note: The following is VERBATIM how this young man wrote his tweets.
"Your an embarrassment to my town and team," he told White.
"You have no leg to stand on. grow the f*ck up you child. Or quit and get out of our city, we don't want you. #HOUSTON.
A spokesman for the Rockets told ESPN that the team stands by its original statement regarding Royce White's situation: "We are committed to his long term success, and we are willing to support him now, and going forward."