White on board
Royce White says there are misconceptions about him that he wants cleared immediately. Basically, the 6-8, 260-pound forward wants all to know that he is willing to fly in an airplane when he has to. He said he is even planning to accompany the team to the two preseason games in Europe early next month.
White, who was taken by the Houston Rockets last year with the 16th overall pick, gained more attention last season for his battle with the team over his travel arrangements.
White, who suffers from an anxiety disorder that causes him to have a severe fear of flying, was in negotiations with the Rockets for much of last season trying to settle a way for him to travel without getting in the air, when feasible. He missed the first week of the season when the two couldn't reach an agreement and was suspended later in the season. He finally landed in the NBA Development League with the Rio Grande Vipers, where he averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 16 games. In his one season at Iowa State, White went for 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5 assists.
"When we went to negotiate my traveling options with the Rockets last year, the only plan was, and always will be from now on in this league, to fly when I have to and drive when I can. That was the plan that we had. It's a bonus for me to even be here and for Sam [Hinkie] to take a chance on me again. Not to say that I don't deserve the chance, but we know how it could go. There are other people out there who can play and want to play. I'm just happy to be here. Hopefully we can find an arrangement that will work here in Philly."
Noel working it
He has gained close to 20 pounds since the Sixers obtained him on draft night, and rookie Nerlens Noel says his surgically repaired left knee is coming along as expected. Still, he can't be looking forward to the months ahead when his new teammates will be playing on the floor and he'll be rehabbing the knee.
"He's been working really hard," said general manager Sam Hinkie. "All of our training staff has been impressed both when he was in Alabama [rehabbing] and now that he's been back here for a few weeks. We've been really impressed with his diligence. He's trying to get himself as prepared as he can be."
It won't be easy for the 19-year-old.
"I'm at the 7-month point and I'm feeling great," said Noel. "I'm starting to get my explosiveness back. It's still at a point where I'm still trying to get most of my strength back. I have to say it's getting better progressively.
"It's tough [rehabbing] but I came to the realization that there would be a time period that I wouldn't be playing. I just have to stay focused and make sure I'm supporting these guys and stepping up and communicating, build the chemistry for the upcoming year. I'm making sure I'm a student of the game. I'm seeing how players play, how they move, so it's like I'm kind of doing the job even though I'm not playing. Just being here with the guys it already feels great for me. It's something special here to be with these guys and have the atmosphere in the locker room and joking around, starting a brotherhood."
On Twitter: @BobCooney76