ESPN: The Rockets intend to fine rookie Royce White for every day he remains away from the team or does not attend sessions with a therapist arranged by the team, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. White, the 16th pick in June’s draft, has remained absent from the team in a dispute over how the Rockets are helping him confront his anxiety disorder. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander on Tuesday said that there were “internal repercussions” for White missing practices and games. The Rockets have arranged for White to be treated by Dr. Aaron Fink of Baylor College of Medicine, but White has not attended those sessions, according to the Chronicle. White reportedly has expressed concerns to Fink that the problem between himself and the Rockets is about “support” rather than anxiety. “In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder — due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets,” White said in a statement released by his publicist Tuesday night. “As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress, but since [the] preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.” The 6-foot-8 White made a deal with the team to travel by bus to some games this season, so he could confront his fear of flying and obsessive compulsive disorder over the long term. He flew with the team to its season opener in Detroit, then traveled by bus to games at Atlanta and Memphis. White, who has yet to play in a game, did not attend Monday’s game against Miami, Tuesday’s practice or Wednesday’s game with New Orleans. He says on his Twitter account that the Rockets have been “inconsistent” in helping him. The Rockets have no plans to trade or release White, according to the Chronicle.
And this folks, is exactly why you don’t take a chance on an OCD, anxiety-filled first round draft pick. Royce White couldn’t even sit with his own family during the draft and has heart palpitations at just the thought of getting on a plane. But let’s take a chance on him and maybe all of that will go away by the time the season starts. Nope. And it’s only going to get worse. If all this negative media attention doesn’t put Royce in a coma, he at least will have a complete meltdown if he hasn’t already. Hey Royce, you think anyone LIKES flying?! Do what the rest of us do; chase a couple Xanax with a stiff drink and get to where you need to go. And as for the Rockets, you knew what you were getting yourselves into when you picked the guy who was curled up in the corner of a dark closet watching the draft. You took a gamble and you lost…on to the next!