Royce WhIte absent because of issues with the Rockets - KMSP-TV

Royce WhIte absent because of issues with the Rockets

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Houston Rockets rookie forward Royce White, who was told he is one of three players being sent to the team's affiliate in the NBA Development League, has chosen to stay away from the team.

However, according to White his absence from the Rockets has nothing to do with the decision to send him to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

He issued a statement Tuesday night through his California-based publicist, China Myers, explaining his position.

"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," White said. "As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress; but since preseason the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.
"At this point, the Rockets are aware of my position and the reason for my absence. Any other response is inaccurate. This is important to me. it is a health issue. I must advocate for my rights. it is a player-commodity league. The failure to meet my requests for support will end with me being unhealthy and that is not a consequence that I am willing to accept to play any sport."

Rockets officials have not been available for comment on White's statement.

Earlier on Tuesday Rockets owner Leslie Alexander expressed concern for White's situation.

"That's tenuous and it's tough to talk about something like that," Alexander said.

"I think we are going to handle it internally, but it's tough. If he doesn't work out, well it's tough to lose a draft choice."

And if that happens?

"I would feel bad for Royce and I would feel very bad for the team," Alexander said.

The Rockets have not said yet how they will penalize White for being away from the team.

"We have internal repercussions which I'm not going to talk about," Alexander said.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement issued through the team: "Royce is not available right now. We are committed to his long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward."

Rockets forward Marcus Morris said he has not seen White for three days.

"I think it's been three days," Morris said. "I haven't seen him today, yesterday and the day before.

"That's my teammate. So anytime you haven't really heard from him or you haven't seen him you get some thoughts about him."

The Rockets selected White out of Iowa State with the 16th-overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.

White missed the first week of training camp while he and the team worked out travel plans to help him with his anxiety and fear of flying.

The Rockets also sent guard Scott Machado and center/forward Donatas Motiejunas to the NBA Development League.

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