Houston Rockets rookie Royce White is far too talented to call it quits just 10 games into his first NBA season. No matter how damaged his relationship with the Rockets is, White must stay the course and give himself at least a shot at a successful professional career.
White is expected to "meet with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey on Monday to discuss his situation with the team," according to ESPN's Colleen Dominguez.
The Rockets drafted the 6'8" power forward with the No. 16 overall pick last June. And despite having yet to play a single minute of meaningful NBA action, White is already the league's top story just three weeks into the 2012-13 season.
After a week of drama and finger-pointing brought on by White missing practice because of personal reasons, the 21-year-old has since stated that he would be willing to walk away from his NBA career in order to preserve his health.
White suffers from anxiety disorder that he openly discusses on Twitter:
Again My "Anxiety" is not well but not BAD, my main WORRY is being treated as a digit instead of a HUMAN, in the case of my health.— Royce White (@Highway_30) November 14, 2012
Here's White on his top priority (via ESPN.com):
Now the communication's there and there's still a problem, right? That means the problem isn't us. The problem is the art of the business, right? At no point will I compromise my health in the interest of business.
Walking away from the game this soon would leave too many questions unanswered, though, including the most obvious one: How great could Royce White have been?
Last season with Iowa State, White averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and five assists in just over 31 minutes per game. White shot better than 53 percent from the field for the Cyclones and demonstrated immense potential that he would be giving up on if he quit now.
White was an all-around stud last season in college, and it was no surprise when David Stern called his name in the first round.
I don't disagree with White putting his health above everything else, but he must know that he's an exception. Few ever get the opportunity to forge a legacy in the NBA, and White would be throwing that opportunity away before ever even giving it a shot.
It's not a matter of making money or even pleasing fans. Instead, it's a matter of White reaching his full potential, achieving his goals on the court and making the most of a rare opportunity that more than 99 percent of world will never come close to getting.
There's no shame in failing, but there's plenty in quitting.
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