Top rookie with anxiety issue joins Rockets' camp

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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McHale, who played 13 seasons in a Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics, acknowledged concern for how White was going to navigate through the travel demands of the league schedule.

"Royce is going to have a little bit of a different path in the NBA," McHale said. "If your choice is to have a 10-hour bus ride, or an hour flight, everyone would want to take an hour flight. He's just going to have to work his way through all that stuff.

"We're here to help him and support him as much as we can," McHale said, "but he eventually has to be responsible to your team and your teammates. That's the biggest thing."

On Monday, White easily answered questions in front of a throng of media. If anything, White said going public with his personal struggle has been cathartic.

"In a lot of areas, we're actors," White said with a smile. "The camera doesn't frighten me. Planes do."

He hopes the attention his situation has generated creates more awareness for mental-health issues and treatment.

"It helps for me, just to be honest," he said. "One of the things that comes with anxiety is trying to hide from what you're scared of and oftentimes, that is the spotlight. Being honest and having good feedback obviously helps me out."

His teammates seemed happy to have White back, greeting him with high-fives and encouragement when practice began. If White can blossom, the Rockets think he can provide a strong — and much-needed — inside presence.

"He has a unique skill set," point guard Jeremy Lin said. "We don't really have anybody who can do what he can do. More importantly, we're thankful that he's healthy and with the team. He learned a lot today. He didn't look like he missed too much."

White seems willing to do whatever is necessary to get up to speed on the court.

"I just stay goal-oriented," White said. "I want to be a good teammate, and I want to be a part of this organization. I have other goals and aspirations and I just stick to those, focus on those. I'm just ready to do whatever they ask me to do."