The agent for Jazz rookie Luther Wright said Thursday that his client is making good progress at a Salt Lake area hospital but wouldn't speculate how soon Wright will return to basketball.
"I have no idea how soon he will be out. But I can tell you that the doctors and I are enthusiastic that things have taken a turn for the better," said agent Sal DiFazio. "Things are much better today than yesterday and the day before."Wright remained hospitalized Friday and no release date has been set.
Wright was cited for investigation of disorderly conduct at a rest area near Saltair in Tooele County following a nightlong session of erratic behavior Monday. He was jailed and later freed on $100 bond, paid by the Jazz, then committed to a Salt Lake hospital for treatment of what DiFazio said was incorrect usage of Ritalin. Wright, whom DiFazio said suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, began taking Ritalin over the weekend.
Wright reportedly told a Tooele County deputy sheriff that he was high on Ritalin and marijuana when he was arrested at about 4 a.m. Monday. DiFazio said subsequent drug testing showed no signs of illegal drugs in his system.
"All I can tell you is what I've been told. There was nothing, no indication of any controlled dangerous substances, illegal drugs, in his system," DiFazio said.
DiFazio won't divulge the names of doctors who administered the test to Wright. He also declined to show the results of any tests run on the 22-year-old rookie.
"The doctor is not going to release that kind of information," he said. "He has certain ethical constraints on him. As Luther's representative, I felt it was important to clear up certain items. But as for releasing other information, I don't know if we will or not."
Asked if he is bothered the Jazz haven't been allowed to see the drug-test results, Jazz owner Larry H. Miller said, "Yeah, and I'll tell you why: The source of the rumors of marijuana ever coming into it came from the guy who arrested him. Luther told him he was on a Ritalin and marijuana high."
Wright has passed two mandatory NBA rookie drug tests so far this season. The tests include screening for cocaine and heroine.
The sheriff's report indicated two other men were at the scene of the incident - Anthony Martin Lavadour, 40, and his 21-year-old son, Tony Manuel Lavadour. Both have criminal records.
Asked to comment on Wright's choice of friends, DiFazio replied, "Luther likes everybody.
"People don't realize how bad the situation was Sunday night. If they were friends of his, they were able to at least control him long enough so nothing bad happened. What I'm saying is, after the fact, and looking at how easy it is for something untoward to occur, you have to be thankful," he said.
"So I'm not about to be critical. Luther doesn't come from Salt Lake City. He's from Jersey City and Newark. Those are very tough areas. To a certain extent, you can only assume these guys befriended him and there are things about them that he can relate to.
"But until anything says they did anything wrong with Luther, I prefer not to be judgmental."
Miller was less reserved. "One of the problems with being a professional athlete is that people notice you," said Miller. "You can't hide. And one of the things I've always liked about Salt Lake City is that it has most of the big-city conveniences but a lot of small-town personality. One of the things that goes along with that is that there are not many secrets."
Miller continued, "There is so much input as to who people are hanging out with. Luther has been hanging out with some known felons. We are extremely concerned about the company he's keeping."