Rockets' White refuses assignment to D-League
HOUSTON (AP) — Rockets first-round pick Royce White refused his assignment to Houston's D-League affiliate on Sunday, yet another setback to his return to the court.
White, the 16th overall pick in the June draft, has spent most of the season on Houston's inactive list while he and the team figure out how to handle his anxiety disorder and overall mental health.
White's assignment to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Saturday looked to be a positive step in his return. But on Sunday, White released an almost 500-word statement where he said he wouldn't report to the team.
"I have chosen to not play, because the doctors and I believe it to be unsafe for unqualified Rockets front office personnel to make medical decisions, as they are not mental health professionals," he said.
The Rockets chose White in the first round after a season at Iowa State, where he helped the Cyclones to their first NCAA tournament berth in seven years by leading the team in scoring (13.4 points a game), rebounds (9.3), assists (5.0), steals (1.2) and blocks (0.9).
The 6-foot-8 White missed the first week of training camp to work with the Rockets to create an arrangement to deal with his anxiety disorder within the demands of the NBA's travel schedule. He and the team agreed to allow him to travel by bus to some games while he confronted his fear of flying and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He flew to Detroit with the team for the season opener and then traveled by bus to Atlanta and Memphis for games.
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