Royce White says he's close to returning

Royce White says he's close to returning
January 23, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Royce White said Wednesday on a Houston radio show that he's close to coming back to the Houston Rockets.

White called in to the morning show on 97.9 The Box. During the show, White said he's targeting Feb. 11 to report to the Rockets' D-League team in Rio Grande Valley. This is, of course, pending completion of the necessary paperwork.

White suffers from anxiety disorder. He was picked 16th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Iowa State, but has not played an NBA minute. He missed the first week of training camp, came back to the team as the Rockets were working out transportation details, was with the Rockets for the first few games, then left the team. He was assigned to the D-League on Dec. 29, but refused his assignment the next day. On Jan. 6, the Rockets suspended him "for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract."

White has maintained a need for mental health protocols to be added to his contract for his anxiety needs.

Some of the quotes from Wednesday morning's interview on 97.9 The Box:

"When it (the anxiety) becomes exacerbated, then it has physical symptoms, just like an injury, a physical injury." White said. "What we said is, let's put a plan in place that limits the exacerbation. Obviously, flying was one of the exacerbations. So we said, OK, we've got that all handled. We're going to do the bus to the games that you can.

"We started having some other communication issues. When that arose, I was having some serious exacerbations, like some migraine headaches that I've never experienced before."

"Everybody wants to make it seem like it's a wild, wild west standoff between me and the Rockets," White said. "That's not the case here. The reality is that there's an issue that's been identified. Mental health is not descriptive enough in the CBA and the UPC. It being so vague makes us make it up as we go. There's no protocol, so we're just making it up as we go. We need to rectify that in order to make sure that the environment is safe.

"I'm supposed to be returning to the D-League on Feb. 11," he said. "That was the plan. We'll see if that finally goes through, but the last thing I heard was that that's what we're going to do. That's what we're planning to do. We're just waiting on everybody to get the right paperwork done."

The full interview can be heard here.

The White saga was a featured story on HBO's Real Sports on Tuesday evening.

UPDATE
The Rockets told Comcast SportsNet they will continue to work with Royce White on a resolution that will allow him to join the team’s D-League affiliate the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  The team is still not publicly commenting on his situation.