Rockets rookie forward Royce White said he is close to returning to the team and agreeing to a D-League assignment. A person with knowledge of the plan told the Houston Chronicle the Rockets are close to announcing White’s return and a written agreement that will include protocols concerning his generalized anxiety disorder as part of an addendum to his contract.
The Rockets suspended White indefinitely on Jan. 6 one week after he refused an assignment to the team’s D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
White, the 16th pick of the 2012 NBA draft, left the team on Nov. 12, claiming the Rocket were inconsistent in supporting his anxiety disorder. White accused the Rockets of failing to provide a safe workplace and said he was unlikely to play in the NBA.
White said on a 97.9 FM morning show Wednesday that he plans to report on Feb. 11:
“The resolution, when I say we’re in the 12th hour, what I literally mean is we’re in the 12th hour .. .. any hour now this thing will be over,” White said. “I’m supposed to be returning to the D-league on February 11. That was the plan. We’ll see if it finally goes through but last thing I heard was that’s what we’re going to do, that’s what we’re planning to do. Waiting on everybody to get the right paperwork done and stuff.
“Everybody wants to make it seem like wild, wild west standoff between me and the Rockets. That’s not the case here. There has been an issue that’s been identified. Mental health is not descriptive enough in CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and UPC (uniform player contract.) It being so vague makes us make it up as we go. There’s no protocol. We need to rectify that to make sure the environment is safe. If we’re making it up as we go, … that’s probably not the safest thing.”