Houston Rockets Will Start Fining Rookie Royce White for Missing Sessions

By Jeff Shull
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Royce White was open about his anxiety issues after the Houston Rockets drafted him in the first round this year, but is not progressing like the team expected.

The Rockets told the Houston Chronicle recently that they will begin fining the rookie forward for missing practice and sessions with a therapist that were set up by the team.

White had set up a deal with the Rockets that would allow him to travel by bus to most road games to deal with his fear of flying. He missed Monday’s game against the Miami Heat, did not show up for practice Tuesday or the game against the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night.

White has been taking his frustrations out on the organization, saying their support of him has been inconsistent. Well, he’s not going to like being fined, that’s for sure.

The Rockets set up therapy sessions with a Dr. Aaron Fink of the Baylor College of Medicine, but White has not been attending these sessions, saying his issue is more about outside support than treating his anxiety.


I don’t want to undermine White’s problems—getting healthy is obviously the paramount concern—but I don’t see the harm in attending sessions with a doctor that could help.

To me, it seems as though the lack of playing time has built up the frustration, and White is saying the Rockets are using his anxiety against him and not giving him a fair chance to earn more playing time. This doesn’t make sense because the Rockets are known for bringing their rookies along slowly. With the exception of Chandler Parsons, who frankly earned his playing time, most Rockets rookies spend some time in the Developmental League.

Aaron Brooks, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and now Donatas Motiejunas have or will have spent time honing their skills at Rio Grand Valley. The Rockets believe players will not develop properly sitting at the end of the bench. They contend real game situations are more beneficial to young players, a position they clearly feel strongly about.

White should not feel singled out; obviously he’s not the first rookie to not see the court early in his career with the team and he won’t be the last.

It’s hard to argue with either position in this fight. The Rockets have certain expectations from their players and cannot show favoritism to one player. At the same time, they want to be sensitive to White’s health and that has to be the highest priority.

White is doing what is best for him and his health, so he cannot be considered in the wrong either.

It’s a tough situation and it doesn’t seem close to any sort of resolution. I hope White gets himself right soon; he’s a great player and a good asset to have for the future.

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