The Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday signed point guard Chris Wright to a 10-day contract. Wright was averaging 15.5 points per game and seven assists for the Iowa Energy while earning Developmental League All-Star honors.
His signing would be just another blip in the comings and goings of players between the NBA and the D-League. But this transaction is much different and the Georgetown product has a chance to become a footnote in NBA history.
When Wright steps on the court for the first time, he will become the first known player with multiple sclerosis to play in an NBA game. He was diagnosed last year while playing in Turkey and was told his playing days were over.
"The doctors told me that, but I didn't think so," the 23-year-old told ESPN. "I just knew it'd be a process, and when I got back, it'd be a good story."
And his story gets better as Wright says his disease is in remission.
MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system that affects balance and causes muscle weakness and problems with vision. Wright told ESPNDallas.com that he takes an intravenous dose of Tysabri, which is the strongest MS medicine, once a month.
But Wright and the Mavericks have higher aspirations than just being a footnote in history.
Dallas envisions Wright being able to contribute to its push toward a playoff spot.
"Chris is a true point guard that's consistently ranked as one of the top point guards in the D-League this season," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN. "He's a high-character, tough competitor who's had to consistently overcome personal challenges like MS to put himself in this position. The physical obstacles he's had to contend with are significant."
Wright is thankful for the opportunity, especially being a new father. His first son was born just weeks ago.
"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."
Coincidentally, Wright's signing has occurred during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.