The Philadelphia 76ers and all of their tanking glory will open their 2013 NBA preseason on Sunday in Spain. They flew to Europe this past Thursday and will take on Spanish club Bilbao Basket as the NBA continues to spread their brand globally with their preseason games.
However, the biggest thing to note about the Sixers trip to Spain is the fact that newly acquired forward Royce White did not make the trip with the team, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since being drafted in 2012, White hasn’t played in the NBA yet, largely due to his anxiety disorder which includes a fear of flying.
White had talked in recent weeks that he had overcome his fear and that he planned to fly with the Sixers this season, in part because he figures to play a large role with the team this season. However, given this situation with him not flying to Spain with the team, it makes you wonder what the deal actually is regarding his flying situation.
In college and in the D-League, White has shown that he’s a productive player. He has decent ability on the offensive end of the floor and is also a solid contributor on the boards. As a young player he obviously still has things to work on, but solely based on basketball he could definitely develop into a respectable NBA player. However, White’s anxiety issues have limited what he’s able to do.
Disregarding White’s sometimes off-putting behavior, his anxiety is something that needs to be dealt with carefully by every organization that he’s a part of. Having said that, he also needs to do what he can to try and overcome his problems and get on the floor, especially with this Sixers team where he’ll have a chance to play. If he doesn’t, his career might end up being short.