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"They tell the players to 'represent yourself, your family, your community, this organization, in a way that you'd be proud of.' So that lets me know you understand it's bigger than the game, bigger than four quarters, bigger than practice, bigger than the training you do.

When White, who was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder as a teenager, asked the Rockets to allow him to ride a bus to many away games instead of flying on the team plane—flying triggers his anxiety—they had no idea how to handle the request, he says.

When he asked for a meeting with then-commissioner David Stern about the issue, he was rebuffed.

He was one of the best high-school prospects in years from his home state of Minnesota, a college standout at Iowa State, and the sixteenth draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft, signing a $3 million two-year rookie contract deal with the Houston Rockets.

But when training camp opened that fall, White was nowhere to be found.

When he signed with the Lightning last December, he hadn't played competitive basketball in nearly three years, since a three-game stint with the Sacramento Kings in March 2014.

Everyone involved agrees the reason for White's rapid fall from the highest levels of basketball had nothing to do with his talent, which is by all accounts NBA-worthy.Instead, his exodus to London is the product of a years-long standoff with the NBA over how it addresses mental health issues—both his own and other players'.In short, his complaint is that the league doesn't address those issues at all: Unlike almost every aspect of players' physical health, players' psychological well-being was not mentioned in the collective bargaining agreement that governed their contracts at the time White was drafted.He and his Lightning teammates appear in commercials for local restaurants like .It's as if minor-league baseball and the NBA had a Canadian love child: a professional hometown sporting event."I want to entertain them," White, twenty-six, says of his Canadian fans.On a recent Saturday evening in Ontario, Royce White, a six-foot-eight, 270-pound power forward for the London Lightning, sat signing autographs for a long line of children.

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