clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

D-League All-Star Chris Wright to Become First NBA Player With Multiple Sclerosis

Chris Wright has gone from being known as a D-League All-Star and rookie, to now an NBA player with the Mavericks. When he makes his debut, he'll become the first to do so while battling multiple sclerosis.

Iowa Energy

Earlier this week, we at further examined the Dallas Mavericks' signing of Iowa Energy guard Chris Wright. Though the Energy currently own a disappointing record of 9-31, Wright's play in the NBADL was nothing short of stellar. He thrived despite having a weaker supporting cast around him, and nevertheless, still did the best job he could to make his teammates look better.

It's always interesting to ponder what kind of impact such a signing will have, venturing to dream about how a player like Wright will fare over the next ten days.

But what we failed to mention, is that Wright isn't quite like just any other NBA and/or D-League player. Instead, the fancy floor general will look to prove himself and make a good impression in Dallas, all the while coping with multiple sclerosis.

Wright was reportedly in uniform for the Mavericks' 92-91 loss to the Spurs on Thursday night, but did not play on account of his new coach's decision. That said, if and when he does eventually hit the hardwood for Dallas over the next week and a half, Wright will become the first NBA player to do so while battling MS.

Cases of the disease can vary, with some being rather containable, while others tend to make the daily lives of those effected incredibly difficult to physically endure. The fact that Wright is competing at the highest level of professional basketball is truly respectable, admirable, and inspirational too.

But to respect what one has to endure is to truly understand it as well. Not able to do an accomplishment as significant as Wright's much justice, we'd like to recognize my buddy Ross Bernhardt's (aka "viva_morrison" on Posting & Toasting) latest effort over at

Providing readers with a personal account of what it takes to battle MS, Ross also explores what Wright has also likely had to conquer in order to break into the NBA after such a short amount of time in the D-League.

Ross relates:

What Wright has been able to accomplish no more than 8 months after this diagnosis is nothing short of remarkable. To go from being told that your playing career is over to the NBA in that time is something that really inspires me. I have been pretty blessed since I was diagnosed back in 2007. My symptoms haven't been too serious, and I've been able to live almost like I didn't have the disease for quite a while thanks to medication. Still, it hasn't been easy. I have gone through many rough patches mentally and now physically over the years. I was in remission for over five years after the diagnosis, but have since suffered a relapse. In November, my left side and leg became numb and I received steroid treatments to try and counter the symptoms. Then shortly after New Year's, I awoke to find both hands and feet without sensation.

Altogether, I've spent countless hours in hospital waiting rooms and infusion centers. I've gone through 11 rounds of intravenous steroid infusions since the relapse. After two and a half months, the feeling hasn't completely returned to my hands, even though there has been some improvement. Feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness often creep in my mind even during periods of remission due to my condition. When I'm going through periods like this, I almost feel like less of a person, and even though I have a great support system, it's hard to climb out of these holes when you fall in them.


There's no doubt Wright's journey up to this point has been both physically and mentally tasking, so kudos to him for continuing to make such strides.

For more, make sure you check out the article from the link above. Ross does a great job covering sports and pop culture, so if you like what you read, you can also follow him on Twitter here.