Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
It has been a long and wild ride, but it has all finally come to an end, at least for now.
Royce White will make his professional debut tonight for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League.
White has stated he is ready to focus on his basketball career:
”It was tough not being able to play, but it was necessary,” White said. ”I feel like I’ve been right on the verge of coming back the whole time. I’ve kind of been just waiting right on the edge of my seat to come back. I’m not really nervous or anything. I’m just ready to get back out there.”
Royce and the Houston Rockets reached an agreement on January 26th which got him reinstated. White spoke of his and the Rockets situation:
”I think it’s all been real positive, I feel blessed and honored to be part of what has taken place the last two months despite how tumultuous it might have seemed, it was a very progressive kind of thing and it needed to be done.”
The situation between White and the Rockets got so bad that White expressed himself over Twitter many times, which was mostly about bashing Houston. He has gained fans and lost some along the way. He opened up about that situation as well:
”I expected a negative reaction, for sure, just because I’m aware of the stigma that’s represented with mental health. But as far as how hateful it got, you know death threats and things like that are way out of line, I think, for sporting types of interactions. It suggests a lot about mental health.”
”A lot of the people who actually said really hateful things have now come back and apologized and admitted they deal with mental health issues, I think there’s a lot of dynamic to what we saw as far as reaction.”
After tonight’s game the Vipers will fly out to Dallas for a game tomorrow night. White will arrive via bus.
Royce White has a ton of talent. There is a reason why the Rockets selected him 16th overall in last year’s draft. He got what he wanted now the pressure is on him to produce. He has the talent and physical ability to get it done, but that’s now what Houston is worried about. They’re worried about his mental health as they should be.
”I appreciate the Rockets and the NBA being patient with such a new topic like mental health. Now, I’m moving forward and this isn’t the end or the beginning. It’s just another piece and we’ll just try to do the best we can with it.”