William Wesley is to the NBA what the Smoking Man was to the X-files — a shadowy figure who seemed to control everything.
He has been a close confidant of LeBron James. He has Michael Jordan on speed dial. He is very tight with John Calipari. He was the guy who ran out and grabbed Ron Artest and pulled him back during the Malice in the Palace back in 2004.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg with the man called World Wide Wes. He knows everybody and has sway with everyone from AAU coaches to many of the top players in the NBA. He has been seen at NBA games hanging with Jay Z and Nike’s Phil Knight.
But what does he do? Officially, he is a mortgage broker. That’s what is on the IRS form. Or at least was. Seems World Wide Wes is about to go mainstream.
According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, Wesley, 45, has been in conversations for several months with CAA, the multinational conglomerate whose expansive client list includes two of the basketball figures who are most often linked to Wesley, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Kentucky coach John Calipari. One source with direct knowledge of the conversations indicated that the deal was “imminent” and would probably be signed in early June.
Wesley declined to comment for this story when reached by telephone Friday afternoon.
Wesley will focus mainly on representing NBA coaches but will also represent some college coaches as well. His decision to become an agent marks an uncharacteristic shift into a public role for a man who has long been content to operate behind the scenes. His profile has burgeoned in recent years as multiple media outlets have chronicled his story, connecting the dots between the young players he befriends and coaches with whom he is known to be particularly close. Wesley is also close friends with James’s agent, Leon Rose…
What does all that mean? Who knows, nobody really knows how Wesley operates so it’s tough to speculate how this changes things. Except that he’ll now have a business card.
And it may make him even more powerful.
Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.
Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)