5 Ways Royce White Can Save His NBA Career


October 24, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Royce White (30) against the New Orleans Hornets during the first half of a preseason game at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Royce White’s NBA career is in jeopardy due to his anxiety disorder. It’s something that was known early on before going into the season, but the problem has perpetuated itself and White is doing little to alleviate the situation.

He’s been the subject of heavy criticism and at this point says he is willing to simply walk away from the game of basketball—if it comes down to it.

Needless to say, that would be a pity. White was projected to be one of the steals of the draft, but his vaunted collegiate career hasn’t translated to success. It hasn’t translated to anything because White has yet to play an NBA game. His lack of cooperation with the Houston Rockets thus far has only caused him to fall under further criticism.

Let’s take a look at five elements that could prove crucial if White is to salvage his career and make the most of his talents.

1) Attend Therapy Sessions

The Houston Rockets have paid for therapy sessions for White to deal with his anxiety disorder that prevents him from being able to fly. White has skipped out on these sessions and is now using his disorder as an excuse, rather than a reason.

It would be one thing if White couldn’t overcome the issue after therapy. If he tried and failed, it would simply be a sad case. Instead, it is a frustrating case because White isn’t going through the sessions that are being provided to him.

2) Work Hard While Inactive

White needs to remain active and work out while he is unable to play. The NBA is rigorous and months of inactivity will only further exacerbate this situation. White must play basketball during this down time, and he’s not even giving the Rockets that much.

He has remained absent from the team, which again, is using this condition as an excuse rather than a reason. There’s no valid reason for White not to participate in practices.

3) Continue to Communicate Progress with Rockets

White says “the communication is still there.”

Good. It must be.

White cannot become despondent in this period of trauma, because he is being paid to play basketball. Instead, White is now racking up fines for not attending practices.

He must continue to communicate and work with the Rockets organization as they try to help him with his disorder. He says he is unwilling to “compromise (his) health in the interest of business.” Fine, don’t.

But don’t expect to be paid to complain about something you’re not willing to fix. In no other line of business is that acceptable, and the NBA is no exception.

4) Play Home and Local Games Only

Unable to fly, there is absolutely no reason White could not participate in practices held at the Rockets’ facility and play in the home games. Moreover, he could travel by bus to the games in Dallas and San Antonio.

That gives White 45 games a year in which he could play. So far, the grand total is zero.

5) Take Medication

White, like many with mental illnesses, can be helped by medication. As someone closely associated with mental illness, I know these medications help immensely. Yes, there is a stigma attached to having to take pharmaceuticals to help the brain, but White must be wiling to take whatever the psychiatrist prescribes.

There are a number of drugs that help with anxiety disorders and White must be wiling to try each and every one until he finds one that works. That, in addition to the therapy he is not attending, are the only ways this situation is going to be rectified.

Instead, White is simply saying he is willing to quit. Being in the spotlight, White doesn’t give those afflicted with mental illnesses a lot of hope nor set a good example for them.