CLEVELAND: Anthony Bennett has asthma and sleep apnea, Cavs coach Mike Brown disclosed prior to Thursday’s preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.
Bennett, the top overall pick in June’s draft, has labored getting up and down the floor during games this preseason. The assumption was he was playing his way back into shape after missing a summer of conditioning, but Brown filled in some of the blanks.
“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 was not in the locker room prior to tip-off. He denied throughout the college season last year that he had asthma, 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."
Brown said he gets tired just watching Bennett run up and down the floor.
"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.”
Bennett is shooting 34 percent through his first three preseason games (10 of 29), but he has made four of his last five 3-pointers.
As for the sleep apnea, Brown said he wasn't sure whether Bennett wears a mask at night. Brown admitted he, too, has sleep apnea and does wear a mask at night.
"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."