William Wesley Hired as Knicks' Executive Vice President, Senior Adviser

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: A close up of the New York Knicks logo is seen during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 19, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks announced the hiring of William Wesley as their executive vice president and senior adviser Wednesday.


The New York Knicks announced today that William Wesley has been named Executive Vice President – Senior Basketball Advisor. Full statement here: https://t.co/sSwXMjI1N8 https://t.co/0hXBZTmcUh

Wesley has worked for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for the past 13 years in the coaching division. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Wesley and new Knicks president Leon Rose worked closely together during their time at CAA.

The 55-year-old Wesley is a Camden, New Jersey, native who has no prior experience working in an executive role for an NBA team.

In a statement regarding the hire, Rose called Wesley "one of the most well-connected and respected people in the basketball community" and said, "He will be a tremendous asset and resource to both myself and the New York Knicks."

Wojnarowski noted that Wesley is referred to as "World Wide Wes" because of his history of making strong connections within the basketball world.

In a 2007 profile of Wesley for GQ, Alex French called him the "most influential man on and off the court" and wondered if he was the "most powerful man in sports."

French pointed to the fact that Wesley had strong relationships with Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and LeBron James.

Rose represented James before he joined forces with Rich Paul in 2012. The addition of Wesley could make New York an even more attractive landing spot for LeBron should he opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers after next season.

Rose and Wesley are as well-connected as anyone in the NBA because of their background as agents. That could help the Knicks become players in free agency after striking out so often in recent years.

There may finally be reason for optimism in the Big Apple, although the process of turning around a franchise that has missed the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons likely has to start in earnest before big names consider signing with the Knicks.

The first major step toward improving is hiring a new head coach following the firing of David Fizdale this season. Interim head coach Mike Miller, Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson and Mike Woodson are all considered candidates for the job.

Young players like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson did some good things for the 21-45 Knicks during the 2019-20 season. Finding a coach who can help bring them along and get the Knicks winning again may allow Rose and Wesley to work their magic in free agency.