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Old 01-06-2013, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Royce White of Rockets Suspended Indefinitely

Fear of flying, guess he won't be playing in the NBA.
Royce White’s NBA career, indefinitely on hold, moved a step closer Sunday to ending before it could begin.

The gulf between the Rockets and White might not have grown any larger than the divide that that has kept him off the court this season. But with the Rockets’ move to suspend him on Sunday, the sides are dug in with no end in sight to an impasse much more complicated than White has revealed.

The Rockets suspended White without pay indefinitely one week after he said he would refuse his assignment to the Rockets’ NBA Development League team.

“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as requires by his Uniform Player Contract,” Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”

NBA player contracts include services all players are required to provide, with fines or suspensions permitted for breach of the contract. Players association representatives have said they are monitoring the situation. NBA and Rockets officials have declined to comment.

White, the 16th pick of the draft, has not played this season. He attended the first five games of the season, but left the team Nov. 12 citing what he called inconsistent support as he manages his anxiety disorder.

White has said the Rockets have failed to adhere to doctors’ recommendations to provide a safe workplace for him and said it is likely that he will never play in the NBA. He said he will not play or practice for the Rockets or Vipers until the Rockets accept “protocols” for his treatment.

“Threat, Fines, Suspension won’t deter me,” White said via Twitter on Sunday. “I won’t accept illogical health decisions, I will keep asking for safety & health.”

The impasse, however, is more complicated than that. According to a person with knowledge of the talks between White and the Rockets, White has refused to play or practice until the Rockets agree in writing to an addendum to his contract that he has written. That kind of addition to an NBA player contract would conflict with the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association.

Though White has not publicly specified the conditions he would need to practice or play, he has indicated through his tweets that he wants players to be able to choose the doctors who would then be given the authority to determine players’ work environment and expectations. If the Rockets agreed to that in writing, it would violate the conditions of the CBA.

The Rockets have told White and his agent, Andrew Vye, that they want to work with him on a plan that he can accept. They have maintained in conversations with White that they have worked with doctors who do not insist, as White has maintained in statements and on Twitter, that doctors should have authority to determine White’s work requirements.

“Again the @HoustonRockets management has gone against what THEIR OWN docs have declared & their own words,” White wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“Not refusing #DLeague I’m refusing to work, AT ALL, until a protocol is put in that ensures#safety.. Doctors should make medical decisions.”

The demand for a contract addendum, however, is similar to the issues that kept White from attending training camp. The Rockets had agreed to his request to travel on his own to as many road games and practices as possible, but in the days before the start of camp in McAllen, he wanted the agreement to be put in writing.

The Rockets agreed to the travel plan and to pay for an RV and drivers. White attended the Rockets’ first three road games in Detroit, Atlanta and Memphis, along with a practice in Atlanta. He has often said since that his travel situation is not an issue between him and the Rockets.
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