Oct 23, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Royce White (30) is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robbie Hummel (6) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Sixers 125-102. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
This isn’t the first time we’ve said Royce White’s basketball career may be over, but it could be the last after the former Hopkins High School standout and Golden Gopher was cut by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
The move to release the 16th overall pick in 2012 comes as somewhat of a surprise as several had White making the team. But with the 76ers opening their regular season in less than a week and after White played five mediocre preseason games filled with turnovers, missed free throws, and high foul counts, the 22-year-old is without a team and possibly without an NBA future.
White, who played only one college season with the Iowa State Cyclones, is a gifted power forward at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds. His skill-set and physical traits make him a matchup nightmare, but to NBA management, he is the nightmare.
It’s well-known White suffers from an anxiety disorder that makes him think twice about stepping foot on an airplane, but it’s his me-first attitude that’s making him appear as a poison pill to NBA general managers.
When he was drafted by the Houston Rockets, the management there took the risk and thought they could handle the complications from hiring White. A year into the experiment, they admitted defeat and shipped White off to Philadelphia.
After two strikeouts with NBA teams, will another team take a chance on White? His talents will certainly draw interest, but if any of them will bite the bait is another question. Europe would love a talent like White and could be an option for him if he wants to continue his basketball career, but flying across the Atlantic doesn’t seem like something he would want to do.
He could very well end up in the D-League next, but it’ll be up to his level of commitment to the game and to his team that will determine if he’ll be able to work himself out of there or drop out of basketball forever.