As the Houston Rockets complete their third preseason game, one can’t help but notice how the youngsters are starting to gel with one another. After all, that’s what training camp is for. One also can’t help but notice the clean shaven fellow perched at the end of the bench watching his peers develop into athletes and grow. That fellow is Royce White. You see, Mr. White, one of the Rockets three first-round picks, has to play catch-up. An anxiety disorder has restrained him from physically being able to board a flight to Houston to join his new team. Since then Royce has requested permission to bus himself from arena to arena in order to accommodate to his illness.
Of course, in order to protect their investment, the Rockets obliged. I, on the other hand, fail to see how such an arrangement can work as this could have a long-term affect on him and the team.
How many practices, meetings, or shoot-arounds will Royce miss due to his traveling? The rookie is already behind as it is. Three preseason games have elapsed and White has yet to see the floor from a closer view than the bench. By the time he gets to play the others will be eons ahead of him. Royce will have to learn his teammates characteristics and tendencies and which sets are preferred during certain match ups along with getting his body conditioned to the NBA level. It’s pretty safe to say that White will have a slow start to his pro career.
How about the bonding that comes with traveling with your team? The chemistry that is built on the court starts in the locker room. Not to sound insensitive but a young team doesn’t need such a distraction. The Rockets need to be focusing on establishing a foundation that can support the Larry O’ Brien trophy. Instead they’ve been put in a position where they have to succumb to specific demands in order to utilize the services of their 16th pick.
I don’t have the medical credentials to criticize how White wishes to handle his ailment. But I can clearly see that the man probably isn’t 100% ready for such a huge step.