Through tumult and a handful of aggressive outbursts against the Houston Rockets and their treatment of him and his anxiety disorder, Royce White has finally emerged to make his much-anticipated debut in a professional basketball game.
Sure, it was just a D-League debut in a 139-122 win for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers over the Maine Red Claws, but actually seeing White on the court is something that seemed a long way off, even just a few weeks ago.
After everything that has happened, I'm stoked to see Royce White play basketball again. He's a special player.— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 11, 2013
In his debut, Royce showed off some fancy passes, a few ugly shots and real work on the boards, finishing the game with seven points, eight rebounds and four assists. It wasn't a stunning debut as far as numbers go, but when you consider that he hasn't played in a game in months, it's a bit more impressive.
Watching strong-armed Royce White. Unsure if h'e playing at 1/2 speed cause he's out of shape or under control. Fancy, precision passer— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 14, 2013
White's interview following the game hinted that he's been itching to get back in the game, just unwilling to give up on his beliefs to play basketball.
It was tough not being able to play, but it was necessary. I feel like I've been right on the verge of coming back the whole time. I've kind of been just waiting right on the edge of my seat to come back. I'm not really nervous or anything. I'm just ready to get back out there.
He showed off everything we remember him being and everything the Rockets hoped he would have been back when they drafted him. His passing, rebounding and overall tenacity shows off a unique skill set paired with his size.
There's what Rox would like to see in Houston: Royce White gets def rebound, goes behind back, length of floor, feeds T. Jones for dunk.— Fran Blinebury (@franblinebury) February 13, 2013
Hopefully his stint in the D-League is a short one and he's able to make his way into the Rockets rotation before the end of the season.