Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 9:50 am  |  21 responses

Royce White Wants Permission from Rockets to Take a Bus to Games

Royce White’s absence from the Houston Rockets’ training camp drew the ire of some in the organization (most notably, head coach Kevin McHale.) Due to his illness — Generalized Anxiety Disorder — White says he’s willing to re-join the team, if they allow him to travel by private bus. Reports ESPN: “White’s fear of flying, he said, magnifies his anxiety disorder. So he’s asked the Rockets to let him use a bus for some of the team’s extensive road trips. White said he’s willing to purchase the bus and assume liability. White, who missed the team’s media day on Monday and the start of training camp in McAllen, Texas, on Tuesday, said he hopes to reach an agreement with the team soon. He said he expects to join his teammates within ‘a week,’ if talks with the Rockets continue to progress. ‘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. … People with mental illness, one of the most important things is that they have that consistency and routine. The girth of (my request) was, ‘Can I travel by bus to close enough games?’ . Earlier Wednesday, White released a statement that detailed his refusal to join the team until a plan to address his ‘long-term health’ was in place. [...] White said he’s unsure if he’ll start training camp sans a written agreement with the team.”

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  • http://twitter.com/ChickenParm1 ChickenParm

    The Rockets have nothing to complain and be angry with, they knew this about him when they drafted him. I wish Royce the best

  • j

    damn this situation really sucks. im not sure how hes going to last in the NBA if hes not willing to fly inbetween games.

  • Hursty

    McHale is in a bind here. According to the Grantland 5 minute doc, the rest of the Rockets staff was against White being a Rockets pick, but McHale was pulling for him at pick 18.
    So McHale looks foolish if White doesn’t play.
    Also as someone who’s done study at the tertiary level into mental health and psychological/psychosocial disorders, it’s EXTREMELY important that Royce feels comfortable in his surroundings e.g. a private bus. However, I don’t think that it’s a long-term solution to a long-term problem. Treating GAD is a loooong process. Just like you’d treat CRPS or any other major health issue.
    I really hope this turns out well for him (and the Rockets).


    This is going to be a tough situation to navigate on both sides. The NBA schedule isn’t really bus friendly, especially with the NBA brand now focusing onglobal expansion. What happens if the Rockets get picked for a game in China? The franchise knew the risk associated with drafting Royce. Hope both sides can come to an agreement. Maybe the NBA could help as well with a travel friendly schedule (which is a reach, but a thought nonetheless).

  • MackAtttack

    It’s too bad that such a unique player has such a unique personal problem… He could be an amazing addition to any team given his talent. I’d keep him and trade Terrence Jones for draft picks or whatever Daryl Morey is known to do.

  • Rionags

    He can just be a home game player, no need to travel lol

  • LeroyShonuff

    I haven’t seen their schedule but considering they will have an extended east coast swing, He could travel on buses there. Also on the Texas trips it could happen. Long road ahead for the rockets.

  • shockexchange

    When you’re the second coming of George McGinness, not only can you take the bus to games, we’re hold up the bus for you.

  • Feez_22

    There is only one potential road trip that is plausible for the rockets this year (San antonio trip). Maybe when they go to dallas for the texas triangle but that is it. This is just a tough situation and is why if the rox didn’t pick him at 18, he would have slid out of the 1st rd. I’m pulling for the kid though… Just a tough situation seeing that its a business and all. The NBA is cruel enough without certain conditions holding players back but hopefully royce can turn his condition into a positive somehow.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i guess playing in europe is not an option

  • rainman

    I get all that, but couldnt you have had this talk with them weeks ahead of training camp?


    I’m pulling for this guy.

  • nick

    He has more of a risk for accident taking a bus, then flying…

  • BamBam

    Not for nothing, BUT! Royce really didn’t make a good career choice perhaps he should have chosen bird watching, LOL now he wants special treatment poor fella career won’t last lost.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    i agree with this

  • bike

    I’m truly sorry for this guy but after googling the symptoms of GAD, it doesn’t sound like you would want this guy in a close game situation. People with this disorder don’t exactly thrive in tense situations. And there is nothing consistent about the life of a nba player during the season.

  • Da best

    Like I said before, 30 for 30 documentary waiting to happen. Traveling is a LARGE part of pro sports. If he can’t handle it without disrupting the team then he unfortunately can’t be pro athlete. Business is business.

  • toner

    ROAD TRIP! But in all seriousness, I hope Royce succeeds in the league and eventually will be able to face his anxiety of flying.

  • roscoe

    Royce White’s new nick name = The bus driver.

  • Matt

    His career will last longer than yours i am guessing

  • David Michaels

    That sounds rough. He deserves to play, but that’s a lot of extra cash to spend on one player. And what if the other teammates start making individual demands?