The New York Knicks made another front office splash Wednesday when they announced the hiring of William Wesley, known by many in the basketball community as “World Wide Wes,” to their front office. He will be the new executive vice president/senior basketball advisor.
Knicks president Leon Rose has a very close relationship with Wesley, as Wesley served the role of a consultant for the coaching division of the CAA for the past 13 years. Rose had a long career as one of the top agents at the CAA before taking over the Knicks earlier this year. Rose’s friendship with Wesley goes way beyond their time together at CAA, however, as they have known each other since their teenage years.
This is a big addition for the Knicks front office, as Wesley is considered to be one of the most powerful men in the sport. He has endless connections and could play a big role in getting players to want to play in New York. He also has strong ties to Tom Thibodeau, who is a CAA client, so this could help boost Thibodeau’s chances of getting the head coaching job.
Wesley had already been working behind the scenes for the Knicks since Rose was hired, but now they made his position with the organization official. It had been reported back in February that Wesley was not expected to join the Knicks front office in any official capacity, but obviously that has changed.
Rose had this to say in a statement regarding the addition of Wesley: “We are very excited to announce the hiring of William Wesley, someone that I have known for over 40 years and consider to be family. He is one of the most well-connected and respected people in the basketball community and he will be a tremendous asset and resource to both myself and the New York Knicks.”
Wesley also released a statement about his reasoning behind joining the Knicks: “My long history with and respect for Jim Dolan and Leon Rose, as well as the chance to be part of the New York Knicks, made this an opportunity I wanted to pursue. I look forward to joining the current staff and moving the organization toward a successful future.”
The Knicks also announced the signings of scouts Alex Kline and TJ Zanin. Kline spent the last four seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans as a scout and basketball operations assistant. He was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list as an 18 year old and then again as a 19 year old for his work with the advanced scouting website he created called “The Recruit Scoop.”
Zanin spent last season working for the Dallas Mavericks as a regional scout, and was the director of college scouting for the Charlotte Hornets the prior two seasons.
Leon Rose continues his busy offseason of assembling his front office, and the moves he’s made are very encouraging. It will be exciting to see what other additions he makes and what head coach him and his staff ultimately end up choosing.