For every famous professional athlete, there is usually one or many men behind that player helping to boost his identity or financial worth. It is a regular occurrence in every sport. Sometimes these "friends" are beneficial. Sometimes these friends are good luck charms and other times they are professional bag men who get the athlete what they want.
Regardless of their standing, these individuals have or had a profound effect on the athlete and in some cases the sport as a whole. Here is a look at 10 friends who been at the side of pro athletes.
Nelson de la Rosa, aka "Pedro's Midget", was a Dominican born man who stood two feet, four inches tall and became Pedro's good luck charm during the Red Sox's 2004 playoff run. Pedro famously carried de la Rosa everywhere with him, including famously hoisting him up after the Red Sox World Series win.
There's nothing like knowing one of the best comedians in the business to lighten up an athlete's day. Crystal is to the Yankees like Jack Nicholson is the Lakers and it has its benefits, including media exposure and parts in movies.
Jay-Z is a part owner of the New Jersey Nets and could prove to be a pivotal reason as to why LeBron could sign with the Nets. Either way, Jay-Z has been seen around NBA and Major League Baseball stars. He is a link between sports and entertainment that has been significant to big stars like LeBron and Derek Jeter.
Spike, like Jay-Z, has been intricate in the combination of sports and entertainment. He has recruited professional athletes for his movies and is a favorable guy to know around New York City sports.
Why wouldn't it be good to get to know Jack? He's the biggest celebrity fan in the country and even has better seats than Phil Jackson. Jack's now got the pull in the sports and entertainment world, and when combined with Hollywood, has the weight to get a star just about anything he wants.
Jagger was seen in the suites with former President Bill Clinton during the U.S. match versus Ghana. If getting to know Jack, one of the biggest actors in the world, is a good thing, then why wouldn't getting familiar with the biggest rock star on the planet also be?
William Wesley, pictured with the arrow at his head, is renowned for being the man at the side of many big time NBA athletes. He got his break as a bag man for Michael Jordan and a decade later he is involved in nearly every major decision regarding marquee players.
Wesley is heavily involved in LeBron James' free agency and has already served as a mouthpiece for the numerous rumors surrounding LeBron's destination this summer.
And why not? Rosenhaus is one of the biggest agents in sports and arguably the most powerful agent in the National Football League. He likes to believe he makes dreams happen for the NFL's biggest starts and he has backed it up.
Sports fans vilify super-agent Scott Boras (and rightfully so in many regards), but there are reasons why so many stars and amateurs ink with Boras. He gets players the money they want. He has run into recent trouble with some of biggest clients (Alex Rodriguez), but if a baseball player wants the money he believes he deserves, he turns to Boras.
Rosenhaus and Boras help get their clients money, but a relationship with Nike founder Phil Knight is where the real money is. Get close to Phil Knight and one can see his career take off. Just ask Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, and so on down the line. A partnership with Phil Knight is where athletes really make their money.