Top overall draft pick Anthony Bennett has struggled with conditioning in his first NBA preseason. Observers have chalked it up to the power forward's lack of work over a summer that included recovering from surgery on a torn left rotator cuff.
On Thursday, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown revealed a few more reasons why Bennett isn't up to speed yet: He suffers from asthma and sleep apnea.
“It’s a culmination of a lot of things,” Brown said. “The shoulder, he’s been out for awhile, he’s got asthma, we’re throwing a lot at him. He’s probably never played this hard against this competition in his life. He’s got sleep apnea and some other things, he likes to stay up late. As a young person, that can affect you in a lot of ways the next day.”
Bennett denied being an asthma sufferer throughout his last college season at UNLV, then downplayed it prior to the draft.
"It's not a big deal," Bennett said. "It's not like I'm the first one in the NBA to have it. It's just something I've got to take care of."
There were rumors that he had problems with his weight in college, and that he had ballooned to more than 260 pounds over the summer, but Bennett says he's currently at his 240-pound playing weight.
Brown said Bennett's sleep apnea did not worry him, and that he and other Cavs also suffer from the sleep condition.
"We have a couple guys who may have it," Brown said. "I think it’s a common thing. It’s not that big of a deal."
Sleep or no sleep, Brown said watching Bennett labor up and down the floor makes him tired.
"Every time I watch him he’s (gasping),” Brown said. “It makes me tired, so I try not to look at him. I tell him, ‘If you need a sub, just tell me. Otherwise I’m not going to look at you.”