New York Knicks hire William ‘World Wide Wes’ Wesley in executive role

NY Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks continue to build their new front office.

New York Knicks president Leon Rose officially took over basketball operations in early March and he hasn’t let the coronavirus pandemic slow him from building up his executive staff. The Knicks will hire William Wesley, known as “World Wide Wes,” as executive vice president and senior advisor, according to ESPN and confirmed by the team.

The Athletic reported in February that Wesley would join the organization in a role of influence, but later reported he was no longer expected to join the front office in any formal capacity due to his other business interests.

Wesley has worked closely with Rose at his former company CAA (Creative Artists Agency). The 55-year-old is known for his relationship with many high-profile NBA players, owners, and agents around the game of basketball.

"“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,” Knicks President Leon Rose said in a statement released by the team. “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.”"

World Wide Wes has significant influence throughout the league.

A New Jersey native who played high school basketball near Leon Rose, Wesley was called by GQ one of the most powerful men in sports in 2007. His role has always been somewhat nebulas but his influence is unquestioned.

"“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,” Knicks Executive Vice President – Senior Basketball Advisor William Wesley said. “I look forward to joining the current staff and moving the organization toward a successful future.”"

In announcing the hire, the Knicks also officially announced the hiring of young scouting phenom Alex Kline, along with scout TJ Zanin (brother of Frank Zanin).

Since taking over as president of the Knicks, Rose has kept incumbent general manager Scott Perry on board for at least one more year, but has otherwise completely revamped his front office.

Besides Wesley, Kline, and the Zanins, New York has added former Jazz executive and draft guru Walt Perrin as head of college scouting. To handle the intricacies of the salary cap, Rose hired cap specialist Brock Aller from Cleveland.

As the front office fills out, the Knicks are currently in the process of interviewing candidates for their head coaching position. Eleven candidates have been reported as receiving interviews, although Tom Thibodeau seems to be the front-runner for the job.