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The NBA Has a Sleep Problem

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes spoke with Hassan Whiteside, Kent Bazemore, and CJ McCollum about the challenges of getting enough sleep.

Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes wrote about how the NBA’s long grind, constant flipping of time zones and the physical toll of basketball has led to sleep deprivation becoming a major problem in the association. Several current Portland Trail Blazers talked to Holmes about the topic.

Offseason addition Hassan Whiteside talked about how getting sleep can make a huge difference, but that it’s very hard to come by.

Sleep matters, Whiteside says -- it matters a lot. It “could be the difference between you having a career game or playing terrible.” But therein lies the conundrum of NBA life. For something so important, it’s remarkably elusive. As Whiteside says: “It’s just so hard to get the sleep that you need.”

CJ McCollum talked about how sleep has been vital for him since high school:

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum began taking naps in high school and seeking nine hours of sleep a night. And in the NBA, he gets into bed as early as possible. “Lack of sleep messes up your recovery, messes up how you play, your cognitive function, your mindset, how you’re moving on the court,” McCollum says. “Sleep is everything.”

New Portland wing Kent Bazemore also talked about the importance of maintaining a routine.

Blazers wing Kent Bazemore has his own travel routine -- no electronics, blackout curtains -- all toward his nightly goal of seven hours a night. “You have to be cognizant of it, to make sure you get your body right.”

Holmes talked to several other players as well — including Tobias Harris and Andre Igoudala — about the importance of sleep. You can read the whole article here.