Before he's willing to start training camp, Houston Rockets rookie Royce White wants the team's permission to travel to some games by private bus, the former Iowa State star told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.
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.
"There are often negative consequences to mental illness when not given the proper support," said White, according to a statement released through his publicist, California-based China Myers. "Often, those consequences are more severe for the surrounding people than the sufferer him/herself. I am not willing to allow those consequences to befall on myself or others close to me.
"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.
"It has been determined that without a specific plan in place, the current workplace is not healthy for me. I feel that it is essential to formulate the right plan for a better chance of execution, despite other timelines or agendas. The most important agenda to me is a plan that is healthy. Therefore, a plan has been requested that will support a healthy work environment. In addition to this, it has been requested that the standard requirements for players in regards to this plan be voided because it is not a standard situation.
"It is regrettable that I cannot be currently present, but long-term health obviously should be the most important thing. I will continue to champion the cause for mental illness being met with understanding; if not, the ramifications are dangerous.
"Mental illness is a very individual-based disorder -- very unique for each person. So for those who come forward and ask for help, a very unique support plan should be the solution, given the nature of mental illness.
"No blame is being placed on the Rockets organization."
White said he's unsure if he'll start training camp sans a written agreement with the team.