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Royce White on NBA, Kings debut: ‘I’m in a different place’

After a rookie season filled with constant clashes for Royce White and the Houston Rockets’ front office, the former Iowa State standout made his NBA debut against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, March 21.

White appeared for just 56 seconds, but that’s a tremendous leap for a player who has battled an anxiety disorder which doesn’t allow him to live the life of an average NBA player.

After the Rockets drafted him with the 16th overall pick in 2012, White was provided a bus to travel instead of flying on the team plane and therapy sessions weekly to assess his health. However, White began missing practices and refused D-League assignments citing the lack of safety in the environment. 

White was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason, but was waived in October. Out of the league without having a chance to prove himself he belonged on a roster, the Kings gave him a shot when they offered a 10-day contract in early March.

Now on his second 10-day deal, White claims that he’s changed his outlook with the Kings after receiving his first minutes in a regular season game:

“It feels a lot different. In all fairness to Houston, they were in a much different position. A lot of things, they couldn’t make a ruling on themselves as much as the league. They had to wait on a lot of OKs and things from people. It was a real complex situation. But it feels very different. Everything’s different. The organization’s different, the city’s different, the people are different, my teammates are different.”

“I’m probably the least different out of the entire equation. But I’m in a different place. I’m definitely feeling more comfortable with the ability to have a successful career in this league.”

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called White his “biggest draft pick mistake” after being a big nuisance in the organization. White went on several notorious twitter rants, lashing out on the Rockets for not providing him with the right resources to succeed, which killed his chances of playing last season. 

Now it seems like his attitude has changed, as he understands that professional sports teams do not run through one player no matter what condition(s) he has. 

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports 

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Michael Ma

Michael became a basketball writer for in 2012, and is the editor of Houston Rockets blog Space City Scoop. He was also an NBA contributor for Yahoo, and has been a basketball junkie since the illegal defense rule was still in effect.


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