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Royce White: Rockets Rookie Willing to Walk Away from NBA

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Royce White: Rockets Rookie Willing to Walk Away from NBA

Houston Rockets first-round (No. 16 overall) pick Royce White is prepared to retire due to how the team is handling his anxiety disorder.

On Thursday, the Rockets announced they would begin fining the rookie for every day he remains away from the team or does not see the therapist the team arranged for him, according to ESPN.

White spoke out on Tuesday through his publicist about the detrimental actions of the Rockets to his condition:

As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress, but since [the] preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.

The Rockets rookie said he is scheduled to meet with general manager Daryl Morey on Monday to discuss his future with the team, according to Colleen Dominguez of ESPN.com.

Nick Laham/Getty Images

White, who hasn’t played in a game yet this season, has all but left the Rockets high and dry after the team invested a first-round pick on him in June's draft. They knew the risks, but no one could have known that a spectacle like this would ensue.

He did travel with the team (by plane) to the season opener against the Detroit Pistons, but has not traveled again despite having agreements in place with the team to travel by bus to away games.

The problems really started, or were made public at least, when the team tried to demote him to their D-League affiliate. White refused the reassignment and has been protesting the actions of the organization on Twitter throughout the past week.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that White is using his disorder and the platform of Twitter to launch a smear campaign against the Rockets for the philosophical differences:

The NBA will never be played on his terms. Royce White isn't good enough, and the sooner he realizes it, the sooner he understands only he can save himself right now, the sooner he can maybe salvage a career that's already slipping away.

If that’s the case, the rookie’s best bet is to back down from his retirement threats before the team management calls his bluff and takes the decision out of his hands.

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