Rockets, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Houston Rockets rookie forward Royce White who has an anxiety disorder refused his D-League assignment to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
“I have chosen to not play, because the doctors and I believe it to be unsafe for unqualified Rockets front office personnel to make medical decisions, as they are not mental health professionals,” White said.
The 6-foot-8 forward who has not played a regular-season game for the Rockets said the team has not been unwilling to accommodate his condition.
He claimed there is lack of knowledge on behalf of the Rockets and the NBA for choosing to forego the knowledge of trained professionals and make independent decisions for something as complex as mental health without consulting any doctors.
White added that he has been told by the the Rockets that it is their right to decline even their own doctors’ recommendations.
The Rockets management insisted that he attend therapy sessions with a psychologist of their choosing.
There is no timetable for White to return to the Rockets roster.
The team had re-worked his contract to make provisions for White to sometimes travel between games by bus, since anxiety about flying is one of the symptoms of his illness.
Sources said that having him go to the D-League is part of a multi-week plan to fully integrate White back into the Rockets organization.