Posted January 27, 2014

Rockets GM on Royce White: Arguably ‘the worst first-round pick ever’

NBA
The Rocket's 16th pick in this years draft, Royce White, remains absent from the team because of an anxiety disorder. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Royce White never played a minute for the Rockets despite being a first-round selection. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

When the Houston Rockets selected Iowa State forward Royce White with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 draft, they were aware of his issues with anxiety.

But the pick – a gamble on White’s talent – didn’t pay off. White never played a minute with the Rockets during the 2012-13 season.

The team shipped him to Philadelphia, and the 76ers cut him before this season started. White has said the team didn’t do what they needed to do to help him through his problems.

Now Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said he doesn’t think much of the pick, even though he helped bring White to Houston.

He tried to explain the thinking behind the selection when speaking to Houston season-ticket holders before a 88-87 home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Friday.

“I take some sort of pride that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever. He’s the only one that never played a minute in the NBA that wasn’t just a foreign guy staying in Europe. It just shows we swing for the fence,” Morey said, via Rocketsclutchfans.com

ZELLER: Rookie diary: Road trips, missed dunks and more

 


63 comments
K.r.Qunynghamm
K.r.Qunynghamm

Now for the fun stuff! LaRue Martin did stink, but there's others. How about Jason or Jaren Collins? COMBINED, the two of them didn't average 5 points and 5 rebounds and both were over 6' 10". Walter Berry's head wouldn't let him play. He thought he was too good to be treated like an NBA rookie at that time. What about Sam Bowie? Ok, we'll let him be because he did prove he could play after all near the end of his career. James Ray, Charlie Neal, Pearl Washington, Darko Millistinks..cic rather, Cherokee Parks, anybody from Duke not named Brand or Hill, the list goes on...

K.r.Qunynghamm
K.r.Qunynghamm

Royce has to understand that the NBA is a business, and his issues cost $$$ to handle. Sure, most teams have the cash, but not many are willing to go through what he will require just to suit up for one away game, never mind 41 and any playoff games. It's more than just finding a way to get to the game, but what about when the team plays the following night several hundred miles away? He'll have hardly had any rest, and we all know sleeping on a bus isn't the most healthy and satisfying sleep there is. Sure, it can be done, but over an entire season may make him worse than he is now. Yes, there are even medical ways to get him onto a plane, and awaken him once he's landed, but that's not healthy either and take s a toll on your neurological system over time. I hope he has/gets his degree in something he can make a good living at, because the NBA really isn't in the cards for him.

KorodskiMatt
KorodskiMatt

Darco Milicic taken ahead of D Wade and Chris Bosh by Pistons

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

i just think Royce White suffered from a sense of entitlement.  I realize he had a disorder, but listening and reading his interviews on the subject, he's just a guy out of touch with reality

nitestar95
nitestar95

Nah. It was Lenny Bias. OD'd on coke right afte being drafted. 

x72
x72

idiots galore involved with this incident.

Marsh the Great
Marsh the Great

It's pretty screwed up that he's still dissing a guy who he no longer has any ties with. We all know the situation and have our opinions on the matter but here is a guy who (theoretically) has more pertinent things to comment on, going pretty far out of his way to demonize another person. I don't think that's the sort of behavior that an executive of a professional sports franchise should be perpetrating. It's petty and an embarrassment to the league. 


On a completely unrelated note, even with all of the drama with Royce White, I still think Darko Milicic is a worse pick, mainly because the three guys selected immediately after him will all be in the Hall of Fame some day while he only managed to be named a regular starter in 2 of his 11 seasons in the league. When you're selected after LeBron and before Melo, D-Wade, and Bosh, career averages of 6pts and 4 reb per game just don't seem to hold up. Sure he lasted a while (compared to White, who never played at all) but I think a 2nd overall pick that's a bench player for his career is a bigger "loss" than a #16 that doesn't play at all.

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711

I love all these people ripping on Morey.  They don't have a clue.


White never intended to work - he didn't try to get better, he didn't meet with the team doctors, instead wanting his own specialists to help him with his "problems".  He didn't perform, and as such should man up and return the money he got from the Rockets.  White is a lazy thief.  Nothing more.



superquad168
superquad168

A. You knew he had issues

B. You draft him, not get the help he needs and give him $6M

C. He doesn't work out (see A.)


Who's the idiot? Morey

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I know. Let's make fun of sick people. That'll show how grown up we are. Then we'll attack those of a different race, religion or economic status. Won't that be mature? 

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

If somebody has the skills on the court to be a 1st round pick and tells you up front that he needs help off the court, you listen to him and do everything you can to help him.


This isn't an indictment of Royce, it's an indictment of the Rockets front office and the GM in particular.

FOOLKILLER
FOOLKILLER

It's what happens when you draft a rtard

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

Way to piss away a million dollar job, White.  Anxiety of flying?  Take a fcuking sleeping pill.  Have fun being a bouncer at a strip joint.  

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@Marsh the Great Makes you wonder how the city of Detroit feels about Tayshaun Prince, as he is the only reason they took Darko over Melo

IceCreamMan
IceCreamMan

@Shooter McGavin 19711 First of all what's the difference whose doctors help him. If I am sick I want my own doctors treating me, not team "doctors".  Exactly what are the qualifications of team doctors regarding mental illness.  Perhaps Royce White had a better understanding of his own problems. 

Obviously your use of quotation marks and problems indicates to me that you don't consider anxiety disorder a real illness. And you are guilty of one of the classic fallacies regarding the mentally ill, labeling them as lazy. 


People are "ripping" on Morey, because of this petty, nasty article maligning a player who suffered from a severe medical problem.  There have been other GMs who selected players more highly regarded that also didn't pan out due to medical issues, for example  Portland GM Kevin Pritchard who selected Greg Oden.  Pritchard never wrote anything like this and throwing Oden under the bus.

Dean9
Dean9

@Shooter McGavin 19711 total BS.  The guy had major anxiety issues which makes any of those things you are talking about make him have panic attacks.  Look up how debilitating this is and educate yourself for a change.  The GM needed to get this guy evaluated and take a 2nd round flyer o him.  The dude has a mental illness and you think you can just fix it?

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Rickapolis the Rockets tried to work with the man, and he just wasn't willing.  You can be sick and also have other issues (laziness/entitlement) that aren't related - that people are free and clear to "make fun of"

eddie767
eddie767

@FOOLKILLER I believe he was smart, not the name you called him. He or someone close to him,figured out how to get $6 M for nothing. On top of that he got to talk all the trash he wanted about his employer knowing they couldn't do a thing to him b/c of disability act. He never wanted to work like most ppl with an anxiety disorder do. I really wish he couldn't/wouldn't be able to collect the rest of money owed from contract.

j7apple
j7apple

@FOOLKILLER  Its amazing someone like you even knows how to type. The education level is so obvious. Are you still in your parents basement?

AmySkene
AmySkene

@BryanCustard @Marsh the Great By that same logic, Drexler is the reason Portland took Bowie over Jordan.  Drexler is still revered by Blazer fans.  I can't imagine Detroit feels bad about Tayshaun and the good times he was critical part of.

menddzr1
menddzr1

@BryanCustard @Marsh the Great So what, the Pistons also won a championship with Tayshaun Prince. And how many rings does Melo has? None!!! Detroit don't feel bad that we took Prince instead of Melo. 

IceCreamMan
IceCreamMan

@Dean9 @Shooter McGavin 19711Ok, but I just am wondering how he was able to perform at the collegiate level with the anxiety issues you spoke of. And how he was able to do it well enough that he was selected as a first round pick.  This is not to blame him at all, but it is a mystery to me.

Ko773
Ko773

@Dean9 @Shooter McGavin 19711  ---- Dean9, I understand your point that White had major anxiety issues. But the main point to this whole argument is that White never ever INTENDED to play one minute in the NBA. He was clearly here to rob this team from the get go.


Trust me when I say this, I have anxiety issues and I am well aware of its seriousness but no way in hell would I put myself in this predicament knowing that A) I have to travel on a plane, B) in order to play an NBA minute, I have to be reliable at all times and be in good standing with the coaching staff, the team's management and team's doctor and C) not be a distraction to this team. THEREFORE I would never, ever take a penny that is given to me. 


Anxiety is something you just cannot control but what can control is the ability to know where are my limitation. I know what triggers it and stay away from it. So if Royce limitation was traveling on a plane, then he is done. You cannot go from one NBA game to the next on a bus ride across the country. If this was James Harden, or Dwight Howard, or whatever, and he can't show up on time or show up at all to a game because he's still on his way when the whole team has already showed up for warm ups one hour before tip off, what makes you think you'll be okay with this type of behavior knowing that this could be a very important NBA play off game, or the Western Conf. Final? -- You would not care one bit for his excuses.


They get PAID MILLIONS to perform in a game. This isn't his rights - its his privileged. And if he can't do his job, there's about a hundred other Royce Whites out there waiting to be drafted.

riley8
riley8

@JackRabbitCafe @ShawnKemp2012 Don't insult sht like that.  He is the scum at the bottom of a barrel that accumulates over years and years and years after sht sits stagnant in said barrel.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@IceCreamMan @menddzr1@BryanCustard@Marsh the Great melo is a great volume shooter who's game isn't built to in a ring.  He will need to be a 2nd fiddle to win a championship during his career, therefore a  role player that DOES get you a ring, like Prince, is much more valuable in hindsight

DallasMorris
DallasMorris

@Ko773 @Dean9 @Shooter McGavin 19711 


Completely agree! This guy just didn't wanna do his job. He wanted to catered to and nothing else. He knows he has to travel on planes, but he wants to ride buses to cities and such. he tries to sound so smart, but if that was he case he would have known he wasn't gonna win hat standoff. He wanted his own docs. Why? The team has their own. I'm sensitive to his plight, but not the way he went about strong arming the team.

Dean9
Dean9

@ShawnKemp2012  stupid being an idiot.  The GM should have known all about this kid's problems all along.  If he didn't he is the fool.  Yeah, the old give them a sleeping pill is now considered a cure for uncontrollable anxiety...how stupid can you get?  Maybe a sleeping pill will cure you of that.