Rockets demote Royce White to D-League for missing practice

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Houston, TX, United States (4E Sports) – The Houston Rockets have sent rookie Royce White to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, for missing Tuesday’s practice.

A source said the Rockets decided to teach 6-8 White a lesson as his absences were unexcused.

Together with White, the Rockets sent fellow rookies guard Scott Machado and forward/center Donatas Motiejunas to the Vipers.

Rockets acting coach Kelvin Sampson said he did not know why White missed Tuesday’s practice but Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said there have been “internal repercussions, which I’m not going to talk about.”

“That’s tenuous,” Alexander said. “It’s tough to talk about something like that. I think we’re going to handle it internally. If he doesn’t work out, well, it’s tough to lose a draft choice.”

In a statement Tuesday, White indirectly blamed the Rockets for failing to live up to agreements to help him manage his battle with 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,” said White, the Rockets’ 16th overall pick.

“As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress; but since pre-season the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Rockets guard Aaron Brooks and current forwards Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris advised White, Machado and Donatas Motiejunas to take their D-League stints positively.

“The D-League is not a negative. It’s a positive. You get to start. They run plays for you. You’re pretty much the man down there on your team. You get to play when you don’t get to play up here,” Patterson said.

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