The Knicks hired CAA’s William “World Wide Wes” Wesley as executive vice president and senior adviser to team president Leon Rose.
The organization officially announced the move Wednesday morning.
“We are very excited to announce the hiring of William Wesley, someone I have known for over 40 years and whom I consider family,” said Rose in a statement. “He is one of the most connected and respected people in the basketball community and will be an extraordinary resource and resource for both me and the New York Knicks.”
Wesley added: “My long history and respect for Jim Dolan and Leon Rose, as well as the ability to be part of the New York Knicks made this an opportunity that I wanted to pursue. I can’t wait to join the current staff and move organization towards a successful future “.
When Rose was initially hired in early February, the belief was that Wesley would join the organization in an official capacity. But in the aftermath of the hiring, there was hesitation about adding Wesley to a formal role.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that Wesley decided he wanted to fully engage in the organization because of his relationship with Rose and Dolan.
“It got to the point where it made sense to him,” said a source. “He wanted to be completely invested in the team.”
Dolan and Wesley have strong ties due in part to the Knicks’ CAA clients over the years, including Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and former coach Mike Woodson.
Wesley and Rose are longtime business partners, with Rose a leading AAC agent for over two decades before joining the Knicks. Wesley also worked for CAA as a coaching consultant.
As Rose stated in his statement, he and Wesley have known each other for over 40 years and have worked together for decades.
Wesley has long been considered one of the most important people in basketball circles from high school to the NBA. He has consolidated relationships with players and coaches at all levels of the game.
The addition of Wesley had more to do with his relationship with Rose and Dolan than anyone else in the organization, including other advisors around Knicks and Dolan. There have been some assumptions that adviser Steve Stoute was involved in adding Wesley, although it is not accurate, to a source.
Wesley joins a Rose front office that includes vice president of strategy, Brock Aller, GM Scott Perry, assistant GM Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin. The Knicks also announced on Wednesday that they added Alex Kline and TJ Zanin as a scout.
Rose is interviewing candidates for head coaching. He must also decide the other members of the front office / scouting department hired by former President Steve Mills and Perry.
A member of the previous regime – Allan Houston – remains a strong candidate for staying with the organization under Rose.