William 'World Wide Wes' Wesley explains why he finally joined the Knicks

Ian Begley
SNY

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks have hired CAA's William 'World Wide Wes' Wesley as an executive vice president and senior advisor to team president Leon Rose.

The organization formally announced the move on Wednesday morning. 

"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," Rose said in a statement. "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." 

Added Wesley: "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."

When Rose was initially hired in early February, the belief was that Wesley would be joining the organization in an official capacity. But in the aftermath of the hiring, there was hesitation over adding Wesley in a formal role. 

A source with knowledge of the situation said Wesley determined that he wanted to fully commit to the organization due to his relationship with Rose and Dolan. 

"It just got to the point where it made sense for him," a source said. "He wanted to be fully invested in the team."

Dolan and Wesley have strong ties due, in part, to the Knicks' CAA clients over the years, which have included Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and former head coach Mike Woodson

Wesley and Rose are longtime business partners, with Rose a top player agent at CAA for more than two decades before joining the Knicks. Wesley has also worked for CAA as a consultant in the coaching division. 

As Rose said in his statement, he and Wesley have known eachother for more than 40 years and 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 well-established 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 the Knicks and Dolan. There was some speculation that advisor Steve Stoute was involved in Wesley's addition, though that is not accurate, per a source. 

Wesley joins a Rose front office that includes vice president of strategy, Brock Aller, GM Scott Perry, assistant GMs Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin. The Knicks also announced on Wednesday that they have added Alex Kline and TJ Zanin as scouts. 

Rose is in the process of interviewing candidates for the head coaching job. He also has to decide on other members of the front office/scouting department hired by former president Steve Mills and Perry. 

One member of the previous regime -- Allan Houston -- remains a strong candidate to remain with the organization under Rose. 

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