Royce White tells Real Sports he will fight to play
Suspended Houston Rockets rookie forward Royce White told HBO's Real Sports he understands he may never play in the NBA because of the complexities of his generalized anxiety disorder, yet said, "I'm not going to accept it without a fight."
In the nearly 16-minute segment, which airs on HBO Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET (and at 10 p.m. PT), White admitted to reporter Bernard Goldberg that he has shown up for some team activities.
"I have not always showed up for practice, but every time I didn't show up for practice, it was a medical reason," White said.
White, who has dealt with mental illness for much of his life, compares his mental health to physical health, saying there is no difference between a player with a sprained ankle and player suffering from an anxiety attack. Neither are available to play or practice, White reasons.
"I'm sure they wouldn't want to hear that (Rockets guard) James Harden broke his ankle either." White told Goldberg. "But there's a health reality that exists."
The Rockets selected White No. 16 overall, committing $3.36 million in salary to him this season and in 2013-14. So far, White has not played a regular-season game for the Rockets, and when the two sides hit an impasse, Houston suspended him without pay on Jan. 6 "for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Players Contract."