Royce White refuses to join the Rockets until a long-term health plan is in place for his anxiety disorder. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Houston Rockets' first round draft pick, Royce White out of Iowa State, said he refuses to join the Rockets until a "long-term health" plan is in place for his anxiety disorder. But he hopes to be back in a week, that is if he can square away a deal to travel by bus for certain games as a way to alleviate his fear of flying, according to Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com:
"What it's going to look like is every game that's drivable, I'm going to get a bus for myself," White said. "And I'm going to make that bus feel like home so that there's a level of consistency in a job where inconsistency is very apparent because of the schedule. I'm going to try and level that out and make sure that my stress levels stay low and that my rest is regular and that my meals are regular and that as much as I can, draw consistency from a very inconsistent schedule."
White is willing to purchase the bus himself and assume all liability.
Head coach Kevin McHale said on Monday when White was absent for a media day that he has "no idea" when the former All-American will be back. General manager Daryl Morey said the team is committed to the long-term health of White but gave no timetable for when such a deal would be in place.
White said he's asking the Rockets organization to help him with his health because he fears "serious consequences" if he doesn't address his issues now:
"It causes me anxiety to know that serious consequences could happen if I do not express what I deal with, or if I am not truthful enough to ask for what I need to be healthy. For me, hiding is no longer a healthy option in treating my anxiety or OCD, so I have asked for some help from the organization to ensure long-term health for myself.