HBO's acclaimed Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel returns on Tuesday at 10 PM, and the main selling point of this month's edition is Bernard Goldberg's interview with Houston Rockets forward Royce White. This is White's first televised interview since he was suspended by the team due to his refusal to take part in practice or games until his demands related to his mental health condition are met. Goldberg's interview with White doesn't pull any punches, and the Emmy-award winner and New York Times best seller grills him about his condition and what he's asking for from the Rockets.
After seeing an advance copy of the episode, White comes off as someone who is ready to move on from basketball if the Rockets aren't willing to accomodate him, and also as someone who seems insulated in his own world. No one from the Rockets was willing to be interviewed for the piece, so we only get White's side of the story. Despite that, you get a solid glimpse into White's mind and begin to understand just how serious his condition is. The details revealed in the piece are simply stunning and certainly show there's more to White's story than what you only read about.
The other two pieces that will be featured this month have much less immediate, mainstream appeal in comparison to the White story, but both also well-done. Jon Frankel traveled to south Florida to profile Luther Campbell, who has gone from a vulgar, controversial rapper to a beloved figure in his local community. Unfortunately, Campbell's role in the "pay for play" scandal at the University of Miami isn't mentioned at all. The third story profiles Pakistani squash player Maria Toor Pakay, as Mary Carillo takes a look at the hardships that Pakay has lived through in Pakistan, including death threats from the Taliban. It's an eye opener of a story, as is the entire episode.