You remember Royce White, right? He was the player who provided a bit of a scare in Kentucky’s Round of 32 match-up with Iowa State in last year’s NCAA tournament. White came out swinging for the Cyclones, giving Kentucky quite a bit of trouble in the first half. In the end though, Kentucky was able to quiet White in the second half on the way to a 16-point
win whomp. During the run in the first half when White was exerting his force on Kentucky’s big men, he was shown shouting “I’m the best player in the country.” In an interview with Bernard Goldberg in a Real Sports/Sports Illustrated collaboration, White discusses the anxiety issues that have kept him from playing for the NBA’s Houston Rockets. He also drops a few lines about Anthony Davis and Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.
Bernard Goldberg: Can I show you something from March madness?
Royce White: For sure.
Bernard Goldberg: You know how to hit play. Hit play.
Announcer: He steals the ball. And here he comes again.
Bernard Goldberg: What did you say there? (White shouting at Kentucky)
Royce White: I’m the best player in the country.
Bernard Goldberg: Did you think that at the time?
Royce White: I knew that at the time.
Bernard Goldberg: You dunked over Anthony Davis who was the number one pick.
Royce White: I abused him all game. I didn’t just dunk over him. I just abused their whole team all game.
I’m not exactly sure I would go as far as to say he abused Kentucky the whole game. But Rich Brooks says tomatoes, I say tomatoes. Royce White is facing a tough go-round trying to make his way successfully into life as a player in the NBA. His documented anxiety issues, specifically relating to traveling, have continued to hold him back. White is currently in a struggle with the NBA and the Rockets to create a “mental health protocol” to ensure his safety. The issue reached a tipping point on January 6th when White was suspended for failing to perform his contract.
Royce White is a very talented player. And I think I speak for most Kentucky fans when I say that we wish him the best and hope that he finds a way to make a career in the NBA work. But I do wish he would stop bringing up Kentucky.