Royce White close to returning with Rockets

1/23/13 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

There had been clear indications since draft night that the Houston Rockets would eventually run into some sort of trouble with their 18th overall pick Royce White. It didn’t take long for those suspicions to take on a more solid form as Royce White failed to show up for training camp citing concerns for his mental health. Royce White’s refusal to take up an assignment with the Houston Rockets’ D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers only aggravated the situation that resulted in his suspension.
In this carousel surrounding Royce White’s travelling due to anxiety disorder, the Houston Rockets rookie hasn’t played a single minute for his team this season. There has been a lot of tension between the two parties over the last few months ever since Royce White lashed out against the organization on Twitter but the Houston Rockets denied any wrong doing. Negotiations stalled as Royce White added an independent to have final say over his mental health issues to the demands that previously included request for bus travel to road games over hopping on flights with the rest of the team. The Houston Rockets were obviously reluctant to give up control.
But negotiations seem back on track after Royce White optimistically indicated on Wednesday there was some pending “paperwork” after which he will be able to resume playing with the Houston Rockets’ D-League affiliate on Feb. 11.
 “The resolution, when I say we’re in the 12th hour, what I literally mean is we’re in the 12th hour ..  .. any hour now this thing will be over,” Royce White indicated an end to this unpleasant situation. “I’m supposed to be returning to the D-league on February 11. That was the plan.”
“We’ll see if it finally goes through but last thing I heard was that’s what we’re going to do, that’s what we’re planning to do,” added Royce White. “Waiting on everybody to get the right paperwork done and stuff.”
According to sources, the Houston Rockets will soon make an announcement regarding Royce White’s return after the team drafted a deal that includes crucial elements of the protocols White desired to be added to his contract. Under the new deal, overseen by the NBPA as well, Royce White will resume workout to prepare for his D-League assignment. Royce White had been working out with basketball staff intern Derrick Alston this month but he was suspended by the Houston Rockets on Jan. 6 for refusing to the D-League assignment. Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey stated Royce White had been suspended “for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract.”
Although Daryl Morey won’t elaborate on the team’s new plan on handling the overriding mental health issues in the contract, he indicated that the Houston Rockets had been in “constant communication” with Royce White and “hope to get him back in the fold soon.”
“Everybody wants to make it seem like wild, wild west standoff between me and the Rockets. That’s not the case here. There has been an issue that’s been identified,” said Royce White. “Mental health is not descriptive enough in CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and UPC (uniform player contract.) It being so vague makes us make it up as we go.
“There’s no protocol. We need to rectify that to make sure the environment is safe. If we’re making it up as we go, … that’s probably not the safest thing.”
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