It was good to finally see Royce White on the basketball court, doing what he so loves to do.

And, yes, the young man can play.

He does things that the Rockets need. Things that any team could use.

There was one play in which White snatched a defensive rebound, took off up the floor, with a nice behind-the-back dribble through traffic then delivered a sweet dish to Terrence Jones for a dunk.

“That’s my game,” he said with a confident smile afterward. “That’s what I do.”

Don’t take that as White being cocky, though with his skill, cocky would be an understandable approach to the game.


White said he would give himself a grade of F for his play in his first game. A game in which he had seven points, eight rebounds and four assists in 18 minutes of action.

You could see the flashes of brilliance, especially as a passer, as he could easily have had four more assists, but you could see the rust. White is a long way from being sharp.

“I didn’t play well, and had three turnovers,” White said. “I don’t cut myself slack. When it comes to the court I keep my standards really high. The way I played tonight, if we didn’t play so well around me, I couldn’t have carried the team.”

White doesn’t know how long it will take before he can get back to top form, but he believes his pass-first skills can help the Rockets. He doesn’t know if he’ll get that opportunity this season because he has missed so much time.

White is a facilitator. The kind of unselfish ballplayer who makes everybody around him better.

Though he knew very little of the Vipers’ offense, having gone through only a walkthrough and a shootaround before Tuesday’s game, he seemed to fit right in, because what he does translates to any system.

“I’m a pass-first guy,” he said. “There are not many pass-first guys.”