Royce White Probably Won't Be An NBA Star

The Houston Rockets' 2012 1st round (16th overall) draft pick Royce White did an interview on Bryant Gumble's "Real Sports" where he mentioned that just hearing the word "plane" makes him nervous. White has an anxiety disorder that he claims prevents him from traveling by air to basketball games. After a lot of negotiation, it looks like White and the Rockets will eventually figure out a way to get him on the court one day, but the question is how successful can he be?

Considering he told everyone that hearing the word "plane" and other talk about flying bothers him, I would say the odds are stacked against him. If I was an NBA player guarding this guy I would just be saying the word "plane" over and over again in his face. More brazen players like Kevin Garnett might paint a vivid picture of a horrid jumbo jet crash with a single comment while Royce is shooting free throws. Maybe other opponents would go around making flying plane gestures running with their arms spread outward and making propeller sounds with their mouths to throw him off his game.

Now either this would work like a charm and he would miss every shot, or White can block it out, meaning his anxieties were overstated and he could have been playing this whole time. The other possibility is that this taunting would eventually condition him to ignore his anxieties and he would be cured of his disorder. I'm sure we're all hoping for that scenario because he's a great talent and could be a premier star in the league. The only question is how high will his star rise before he gets anxious about the altitude.

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