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The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Royce White is close to reaching an agreement with the Houston Rockets that would have him reporting to the club's Development League team. In an interview with a Houston radio station, White said he's planning on a February 11 return.
The Chronicle's NBA blog reported: "According to a person with knowledge of the plan, the Rockets are close to making an announcement in which White would return to the team under a written agreement that includes key elements of the protocols that White wanted to have as an addendum to his contract."
In the radio interview, White said: “Everybody wants to make it seem like wild, wild west standoff between me and the Rockets. That’s not the case here. There has been an issue that’s been identified. Mental health is not descriptive enough in CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and UPC (uniform player contract.) It being so vague makes us make it up as we go. There’s no protocol. We need to rectify that to make sure the environment is safe. If we’re making it up as we go, … that’s probably not the safest thing.”
White was suspended by the Rockets on January 6, one week after he refused an assignment to the Rockets' Rio Grande Valley affiliate in the D-League. Much of the public discussion has been about White's fear of flying, and his request to bus to as many of Houston's games as possible.
He was the team's first-round choice in last summer's draft after spending one season at Iowa State. White attended De La Salle and Hopkins in the Twin Cities before spending one year at the University of Minnesota, where he didn't play.
White also appeared Tuesday night in a segment of HBO's Real Sports, in which he said: "If I was to play in the NBA now as it is without the protocols, without the safety measures, I would be risking my health. I would be risking my life."