No happy ending, yet, for Rockets’ Royce White

Rio Grande Valley Vipers' Royce White (33) advances the ball against the Maine Red Claws during an NBA D-League game.
(Joel Martinez / Associated Press)

A career in limbo

In a Hollywood version of the Royce White story, he would make a triumphant return to Houston to play for the Rockets.

But in the sad reality show that White’s season has become, the rookie forward went back to the home of the team that drafted him with no intention of making an imminent NBA debut.


He has not played a game this season other than for the franchise’s Development League team because of issues related to an anxiety disorder. He tweeted that he was returning to Houston for the rest of the season on the advice of the team physician.

The Rockets reportedly were not involved in White’s decision and declined to comment. It was unclear what White intended to do next.

“AGAIN, no one is quitting ANYTHING, just getting prepared 4 next season with the @HoustonRockets,” White tweeted. “I’m very excited, can’t wait to rejoin.”

White averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 12 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, arranging for a driver to take him to road games because he has an intense fear of flying.

The 16th overall pick in last year’s draft, White has one more guaranteed year on his contract for $1.7 million.

If his tweets are any indication, White is not on the verge of quitting his crusade for those suffering from anxiety issues.

“Our society has long neglected the #MentalHealth topic & its sufferers,” White tweeted. “Allow it if you want, I’m speaking up.”

Media critic

The media doesn’t always get the last word when it comes to Dwight Howard.

The Lakers center has imitated sideline reporter Mike Trudell’s baritone voice and ribbed veteran broadcaster Jim Hill for lacking swag.

His latest victim was Lakers radio play-by-play announcer John Ireland. Howard asked one of Ireland’s colleagues during a shoot-around if he could provide Ireland with better questions for postgame interviews.

Howard then simulated a question-and-answer session involving himself and Ireland.

“Um, Dwight, you made a lot of free throws but you missed some,” Howard said, pretending to be Ireland. “Could you explain? Why did you miss free throws tonight?”

Apprised of Howard’s remarks, Ireland jokingly asked Howard the same question that night after the Lakers defeated Toronto. He should have stopped there.

“How healthy are you? You looked really good,” Ireland said a few minutes later, prompting a bemused look from the bare-chested Howard.

“Let me put a shirt on,” Howard said after an uneasy pause as the reporters gathered around him erupted in laughter.

To play or not to play

Sometimes it seems as if Derrick Rose has no better idea than the casual Chicago Bulls fan whether he will play this season.

“Nobody knows but God,” the star point guard said while discussing when he might return from a torn knee ligament that has sidelined him all season.

The clock is ticking. The Bulls have only 14 games left in the regular season.

Not that Rose is in a rush.

“Whenever I’m ready,” he said, “I’m going to be out there.”