Royce White Suspended by Rockets

Royce White, the 16th overall pick in June’s NBA draft, was suspended by the Houston Rockets Sunday for refusing to provide services required by his contract.“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”One week ago White refused his assignment to Houston’s D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers after spending the majority of the season on the Rockets’ inactive list, while he and management tried to reach a reasonable solution for his overall mental health and anxiety disorder.The 21-year-old White is requesting that the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, the Rockets and himself sign a document for mental health protocol, and does not plan to show up for any team activities until everyone signs the document, according to USA TODAY Sports.White’s demands will be difficult to accomplish because such an agreement is banned under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.The 6-foot-8 White went on a Twitter rampage after being suspended indefinitely by the Rockets organization.“What’s suspending me suppose to do. I’ve been away from the team for a month ½. Guess we want to give it a title shift accountability,” he tweeted.White even took at shot Morey in his second tweet.“Threat, Fines, Suspension won’t deter me. I won’t accept illogical health decisions, I will keep asking for safety & health. #BeWell @dmorey,” he tweeted.White, whose contract is guaranteed for $3.3 million for the first two seasons, will not be paid during his suspension.The Rockets and White had a tentative agreement in place at the beginning of the season to deal with his anxiety disorder due to the rigorous demands of the NBA’s travel schedule. Both parties agreed to allow him travel by bus to some games in an attempt to tackle his fear of flying and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He managed to fly to Detroit for the season opener and then bused to Atlanta and Memphis for the following games.Shortly after that White made the decision to stop participating in all team activities and took to Twitter saying dealing with his mental health was more important than his NBA career.White is hopeful that he can change the protocol for himself, the entire league and future players.“There’s no mental health protocol here, for not only the Rockets but the entire league, really,” White said in a SirusXM interview. “I expressed that that’s really unsafe if you think about it. So, basically, I’m fighting to have that rectified. I just don’t think it is OK or responsible or even logical to have GMs or any front office personnel have executive authority in medical situations.”

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