Thursday, April 8, 2010
Anonymous NBA star on William Wesley
By Henry Abbott
ESPN The Magazine has a running column from an unnamed NBA star. Player X, they call him. In the latest version of the column, this player tells stories about William Wesley (Insider). This version of events is 100% in line with what all kinds of players will say about Wesley, usually off the record. But the basics are like this:
You can't fire Wes. He doesn't work for you. He's like that dude from Pulp Fiction who gets called in to clean up sticky situations. Sometimes it's a young guy who is great on the court but sucks at life. Wes will straighten his ass out. He'll say, "You're coming with me, young fella." Then he'll lay it out on the table like, "Dude, you're screwin' up." He'll look at his entourage and say, "This person stays, but these clowns gotta go." Sometimes it's a coach who calls him for help, or a teammate or an agent. But he gets through to guys because he never asks for anything. And it doesn't hurt that he remembers the name of everyone he's ever met. ...
Because he has the ear of every player, coach, GM and sneaker company, a lot of people around basketball like to hate on Wes. Agents worry that he's going to steal their clients and steer them to one of his favorite agents. They think he's a glorified runner, a dude who agents send around to befriend players, get them into clubs and eventually get them to sign a contract. It's a shady business. But Wes is not one of those guys. Wes isn't running for anyone. I'm sure he's got his ways to make money, but he's interested only in setting up deals and making sure the people around you are looking out for you. When I got to the NBA he asked me if my agent was taking care of me. I told him about my contract, and Wes said it was cool, that my agent did a good job. He just wanted to know that I was taken care of.