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Mavs Guard Makes NBA History

Chris Wright is first player with multiple sclerosis in NBA history to take the court



    Dallas Mavericks guard Chris Wright is the first player in NBA history to take the court with multiple sclerosis. (Published Thursday, March 21, 2013)

    The Dallas Mavericks may be struggling for a spot in the postseason, but their newest player knows all about struggle and plenty about how to fight.

    Chris Wright became the first player with multiple sclerosis in NBA history to take the court.

    MS is a disease that effects the nervous system. It can cause fatigue, blurred vision, loss of balance and poor coordination.

    "It was a little frightening at first, but I just had to make the smartest decision for me and my family, and you know, ended up here," said Wright.

    He makes it sound so simple, but after a stint in the minors, Wright is living his dream. He admits he has to be sure to eat right and get plenty of rest, and once a month he gets medication for the illness. The injection, called Tysabri, is a two-and-a-half hour process with an IV, Wright said.

    "I'm a bit drained after. I maybe take a nap and then I'll be OK. I might be it sluggish that day, but then I'm all right," he said.

    He's more than all right. And he's been an inspiration to his coaches and teammates.

    "It's unprecedented, historic. And he's done a great job while he's been here. working on his game and helping his teammates," said Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle.

    Dirk Nowitzki is also impressed with the story.

    "I think everybody's rooting for him. I think it's a great story and it's very inspirational," he said.

    If you think the Mav just did this as a gesture to a man fighting a disease, or to help raise awareness for MS, you couldn't be more wrong. Wright was a first-round pick out of Georgetown, and he's proven himself as a top notch NBA-caliber player.

    "He's a fast guard. He can shoot a bit, he can get in there, he can finish he can defend," Nowitzki said.

    "He was one of the top players in the D-League and the opportunity he had here, he's showed some very good things," said Carlisle.

    Wright also knows he can help raise awareness for MS while at the same time helping others dealing with this debilitating disease.

    "I'm living proof you can do whatever you put your mind to. I didn't know it was going to be this big, but I'm glad I'm an inspiration to a lot of people, and it's a great thing for the MS society," he said.

    Wright is on a 10-day contract with the Mavs, and they have to make a decision about his future Friday. As for his health, there is no reason he shouldn't be able to continue playing while continuing the treatment doctors have provided.