You may have heard about Los Angeles Lakers big man JaVale McGee struggling with asthma. On its face, it seems like a fairly surprising condition for a professional athlete to have, especially in a sport which requires so much running.
Pace is faster than ever this year, and the Lakers themselves are trying to outrun opponents. What does that mean for McGee?
The answer is more complicated than you think.
In a recent article on ESPN, McGee said that his asthma is not as bad as folks have made it out to be, and the rumored severity of his condition may have actualy hurt him over the course of his career.
“This is what I want to say about the asthma,” McGee said when asked about it after the game. “Stop bringing that up like I’m out here wheezing and having asthma attacks. I’ve never had an asthma attack in my life. I feel like that’s definitely lowered my value as a basketball player.
“People say, ‘Oh he only can play 20 minutes because he has asthma.’ No. there’s a lot of people with asthma in the league. I feel like somebody stamped that excuse on me like, ‘Cool, we can play him low minutes because he has asthma.'”
Well there you have it. No doubt we will continue to hear mentions of McGee’s asthma as the season goes on, particularly on national broadcasts when these sorts of things get trotted out as details for color commentators to mention.
But from McGee himself, apparently his asthma isn’t something we should be concerned about. He’s made more than $55 million over the course of his career according to Basketball Reference, so he’s not hurting too bad.