Chris Wright Bucks Multiple Sclerosis to Play in NBA
San Antonio, TX
Chris Wright became the first-known NBA player to acknowledge having multiple sclerosis after signing a 10-day deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
Wright was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while playing for Olin Edime in the Turkish Basketball League last season and was told by Turkish doctors that his basketball career was finished.
"The doctors told me that, but I didn't think so," said Wright, 23, a former Georgetown star who went undrafted in 2011.
"I just knew it'd be a process, and when I got back, it'd be a good story," he told ESPN.
Now, he provides inspiration and motivation for people as an MS victim who made it in the NBA.
"I made history with this," quipped Wright, who joined the Mavs in San Antonio.
Wright, a point guard, returned to serious basketball activity in July. He averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals for the Iowa Energy this season to earn a D-League All-Star bid. The Mavs opted to call up Wright after waiving reserve guard Dominique Jones this week.
"It shows determination and an element of resourcefulness, which I think is a very important quality on any NBA team, to have as many resourceful guys as you can," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told reporters.
Wright said his disease is in remission. He has not had an episode since the one in Turkey, which lasted two weeks, and visits a specialist for a checkup every six months. He takes an intravenous dose of Tysabri, which he says is the strongest MS medicine, once a month.
"There's not a cure for MS," Wright said. "Can there be a relapse? Absolutely. But with the way I've been progressing and
the way my body has been -- it helps that I'm an athlete as well -- it reduces the risk of that happening again. I just go from there and see what happens."
Wright's arrival in the NBA happened to occur during MS Awareness Week. It also came weeks after the birth of his first son, Chris Jr.
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