Royce White slams LeBron James, Lakers: ‘Carmelo is absolutely being blackballed’

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
Former NBA player Royce White said the league is blackballing Carmelo Anthony, and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3704/" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James">LeBron James</a> isn't doing anything to help. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Former NBA player Royce White said the league is blackballing Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James isn't doing anything to help. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Former NBA forward and Iowa State star Royce White believes that Carmelo Anthony is being “blackballed” from the NBA, and he slammed Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James this weekend for not doing anything about it.

White — who was, in a way, blackballed from the league himself — was asked about Anthony in Dallas on Saturday before his BIG3 game. Anthony, a 10-time All Star, played in just 10 games for the Rockets last season before he was told that he was “no longer needed.” He has yet to find a new home in the league.

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Warning: This video contains language NSFW

“‘Melo is absolutely being blackballed,” White said, via Fanatics View. “He’s one of the realest in [the league] ... He’s given too much to the game for them not to allow him to play or for them to kind of culturally just make an agreement that he’s not good enough anymore. All of us here that played the game at the highest level know how good Melo is.”

Anthony spoke out about his exit from the Rockets for the first time earlier this month, saying he didn’t like the way that it went down. He also said he believes he’s good enough to still play in the league, and he’s just waiting on a team to give him a chance — which, at this point, no team seems willing to do.

White attacks LeBron James for not helping Anthony

White then slammed James and the Lakers for not signing Anthony this summer, when the team was looking for pieces to build around him and Anthony Davis. Instead, Los Angeles signed a one-year deal with Jared Dudley — which White thought was ridiculous.

“We know that there’s no way that the Lakers would go out and sign Jared Dudley and not sign Carmelo Anthony,” White said. “And another question is, when a guy like LeBron is walking around out here like he’s the face and voice of the players, how is he letting his banana boat brother hang out there in the wings and then go sign Jared Dudley and not Carmelo.

“If anybody watching this thinks that Jared Dudley can hold Carmelo’s jock strap, I’ll slap you.”

Dudley — who has averaged 7.7 points per game in his 12-year career for six different teams — responded on Twitter on Tuesday morning, though later deleted the tweet.

“This isn’t Melo vs. myself, That man is a 1st ballot HOFer,” Dudley tweeted, via the Arizona Republic. “We all want to see him back in the league. Royce seems uniformed when he speaks and this situation in calling my name out. This league is not about who’s better then (sic) who it’s what’s players make for the best Team."

White slams NBA for ‘whitewashing’ discussion on mental health

White won Big 12 Player of the Year honors at Iowa State and was then drafted No. 16 overall by the Houston Rockets in 2012. He reportedly clashed with them, however, over his widely publicized general anxiety disorder, which became a battleground during his just 13-month stint in the NBA. He never played a game for the Rockets, and told Yahoo Sports in 2012 that Rockets personnel said that establishing a plan to manage his anxiety was “impossible.”

White played just three games for the Sacramento Kings, spent time in the NBA Summer League, overseas and with the London Lightning in Canada’s National Basketball League. He started training for a UFC career earlier this year, however instead joined the BIG3 league this season, where he was the No. 1 overall pick.

After Anthony, the conversation on Saturday turned toward mental health — which White called “the greatest social issue we face.”

That’s why he is still so upset that he was forced out of the league. Not because of his career, but because of how the NBA is treating people.

“That’s why I was pissed off that they just kind of nudged the mental health conversation out of the league, along with me,” White said. “It’s not about me. It’s not about my career. It’s about the fact that you guys doing that says something about how you feel about people.

“And the fans are so gullible that they would let the league insult their intelligence by propping Kevin Love up as this white knight of mental health and trying to whitewash their sins. That’s how gullible the fans are.”

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love opened up about his anxiety and panic attacks last year in a piece for The Player’s Tribune, one week after San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRosan detailed a similar experience in the Toronto Star. Multiple other players in the league have come out with similar stories about dealing with their mental health in the wake, sparking a new discussion about it across the NBA and the sports world in general.

White made it clear that he’s not upset with Love for sharing his story. But when he did it nearly six years earlier, nobody listened.

“I think that Kevin is very new to this,” White said. “I always appreciate people sharing their struggles. That comment had nothing to do with my feelings toward Kevin. It has to do with my feelings toward his masters.”

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