Houston Rockets rookie Royce White was absent from the first several days of training camp due to an apparent negotiation to have bus travel included in his contract. White famously suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a truly debilitating illness that is further magnified by stresses like his fear of flying.
As of yesterday, it appears the Rockets will make the necessary travel accommodations requested by White.
“We’ll go forward in a good faith deal between me and Rockets, and I’m totally comfortable with that,” White told The Houston Chronicle on Thursday evening. “We can find a way to get it into writing at some point. We do have a letter between us. It’s an agreement, not in contract form, but those are technicalities.”
Bus travel was one of the key ingredients in White’s management of his illness while at Iowa State, where, it should be noted he never missed a game. His plan for the upcoming season includes traveling by bus to any games that are a reasonably drivable distance from Houston.
While a player’s absence from camp isn’t usually a good signifier, it seems as though the relationship between White and the Rockets organization remains completely amicable.
“We are committed to Royce’s long-term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward,” said Rockets General Manager, Daryl Morey in a press release on Wednesday.
Thanks to the cooperation by Houston management, White will be at training camp on Monday and Houston’s preseason should continue as normal.
Many will perceive this brief negotiation as a sign of difficulties for the future, but it seems as though Morey knew that when he drafted White there would be certain obstacles to overcome.
Going forward, as long as the Rockets are as respectful of his condition as they’ve been this week, the partnership between them and the 6’8” power forward should be a match made in heaven.
Houston kicks off the season on October 31 at the Detroit Pistons.
Ian Jacoby is a staff writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @IanJacoby.