Chris Wright Becomes First NBA Player Ever with Multiple Sclerosis

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2013

Photo via espn.go.com.
Photo via espn.go.com.

Chris Wright signed a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks and has now become the first-known NBA player with multiple sclerosis.

Per Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com, Wright, who was initially told by doctors his career was finished, has made history:

Wright became the first-known NBA player to acknowledge having multiple sclerosis when he signed a 10-day deal with Dallas and joined the Mavs in San Antonio. That's a fact that Wright is especially proud of after earning a call-up from the D-League.


Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, numbness, loss of balance, poor coordination, blurred vision and problems with memory and focus, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which estimates that more than 2.1 million people are affected by the disease. In severe cases, MS can cause paralysis. Wright originally was told by Turkish doctors that his basketball career was finished.

Wright himself admitted that returning to the floor was a "process," but it's one through which he persevered.

The point guard didn't resume basketball activities until this past July, and he missed an opportunity to play in the association's summer league. He was, however, fit to play in the NBA's developmental league, where he excelled.

While with the D-League's Iowa Energy, Wright averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game en route to an All-Star appearance.

He adds point guard depth to a Mavericks team with virtually none, and when playing at his peak, he's a crafty ball-handler, respectable shooter and stout on-ball defender who should help Dallas on both ends.

Just as important as what he can do for the Mavericks is how inspirational a tale he provides.

As MacMahon points out, Wright's arrival in Dallas coincides with MS Awareness Week and is just weeks after the birth of his son, Chris Jr. 

Does it get any better than that?

It's nothing short of heartwarming to see a player battle his way back from not just a supposedly career-ending injury, but an unprecedented one. No other NBA player has acknowledged having MS before, rendering Wright an innovator.

He's also as intrepid as they come, not just because he's made it this far but also because he's willing to pursue his dream while knowing he could relapse at any time. Still, he plays on, counting his blessings in the process.

"It's all a blessing," Wright said (via MacMahon). "This has been a great month for me."

There is no cure for MS, and while Wright also said the risk of him suffering another episode is minimal, it's still very much alive.

Just like his professional basketball career.