There is no love lost between Royce White and Rockets fans, following his rookie season that saw more conflict than progress on the basketball court. White made a spectacle of his mental illness from his early contract negotiations last year, up to his brief time with NBDL affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
It all eventually led to the Rockets dealing White to the Sixers for future draft considerations. Some Rockets fans, with tongue in cheek, would tell you that move was just as significant for the team as signing Dwight Howard. That's just indicative of the frustration that led to delusion
White, however, has been consistent in his prioritization of mental health over basketball. Even when he's sounded delusional himself (and he does have some moments), the guy's mostly been unequivocal on this.
Even though White's been shipped out of town, he's still planning on leaving his mark on the Southwest side of town, set to open a wellness center on Bellfort in January 2014. It's a partnership between White's non-profit organization Anxious Minds Inc. and Bee Busy Wellness Center.
Last November when things really seemed to be coming to a head with White and the Rockets, I wrote that maybe playing in the NBA would be a detriment to White's health and it'd be best he not play at all. White's never actually ruled out that possiblity – that it just might not work out in the NBA. He's got an opportunity on a rebuilding Sixers squad with young talent.
Whether he pans out as an NBA player or not, helping and being an inspiration to mental health patients is something he's already put work in to. And that's more significant, no matter how much we love basketball.