The Rockets Must Talk Royce White out of Leaving the NBA

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterNovember 17, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 12: Jeremy Lin (R) #7 of the Houston Rockets is seen on court during warmups alongside Royce White (C) and Chandler Parsons (L) prior to the start of the game against the New Orleans Hornets at the Toyota Center on October 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

They can't just let the kid quit.

The Houston Rockets selected Royce White with the 18th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, knowing exactly what they were getting; a talented, troubled kid, who happens to be suffering from an anxiety disorder that he never gained control of.

But after an apparent disagreement over how the team planned to handle his "situation," White threatened to quit if his health would be put in jeopardy.

The dilemma is a difficult one, in that none of us understand what White's going through.

However, the NBA is a business and if the accommodations Houston has made are having a negative impact on the team, that's where the water gets murky.

Still, allowing White to just walk away from the game would be irresponsible on the part of the Houston Rockets.  Like I said before, they knew who he was and they knew what he had.

Another element to this pickle is that the kid can flat out play.

This isn't some undrafted journeyman looking to finally catch on with an NBA franchise. White could have been a lottery pick had teams not shied away for this very reason we're speaking of.

Without knowing the extent of the disagreement, and who promised what, it's impossible to say that one is wrong and one is right.

But quitting the game can't be the solution. The Rockets just can't let it happen.

Royce White should have a long, bright career in front of him.

He's one of the more unique young players in the game, which he proved after leading Iowa State in points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals. The Rockets picked him 18th overall because his skill-set is compatible with NBA play.

Right now he's Houston's responsibility. If they let him quit, who knows what happens next for White?

Sometimes, compassion is needed. I know, his statement regarding the situation sounded out of place, considering he's a rookie seemingly making demands towards his employer.

But this is such an unusual situation, one that can't possibly cost the Rockets any sleep by making him comfortable.

Ease him in. Give him what he wants, within reason. Make things right.

The story would go from bad to worse if they just let him walk. And I don't buy that he'd be a distraction to the team. Distractions are overrated.

The Rockets have to remember that they're dealing with a kid, not some egotistical veteran who's already signed two multi-year contracts during his career. This is a negotiation in which the Rockets have little to lose, so why not go easy. For the kid's sake, and the team's.

I'll tell you one thing; I can't wait to see Royce White play in his first NBA game.