Thursday, September 30, 2010

Easier to stop Chris Paul than get an interview with World Wide Wes

For a hot minute Wednesday, I had thoughts of snatching an interview with NBA juice-meister William Wesley.

Then reality smacked me like an old girlfriend's right hand.

Wes, as I was introduced to him by former Kings forward Lionel Simmons about 17-18 years ago, might as well be the NBA's deputy commissioner. That's if you believe he's responsible for half of the occurrences with which he's been linked.

I'll keep referring to him as Wes. This whole World Wide Wes thing is relatively new to me. Reportedly, my man Jalen Rose, now an ESPN analyst, claims to have given him that moniker. And it does fit since when you are on the NBA beat, there's no city in which the brother might not be found.

I've heard him referred to as Uncle Wes. Call him what you want, but Wes is known in Commissioner David Stern's office, Michael Jordan's inner circles and as being the right-hand man of such NBA stars as LeBron James, Chris Paul and most recently, Carmelo Anthony.

In fact, one of the goals for contacting Wes Wednesday was to find out what role, if any, he was playing in Anthony's current travails with the Denver Nuggets.

Anthony is represented by agent Leon Rose and the powerful Creative Artists Agency. Rose and Wes have been linked since they both grew up in South Jersey.

There were reports earlier this year Wes had filed to become certified as an agent. If he did, he says that has not yet happened.

"I'm not an agent," Wes said Wednesday.

Wes is a cat whom has more hookups than Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile put together.

He's also a dude who consistently keeps his cards close to the vest.

"Man, I don't want to do any interviews," he said Wednesday as he's told me before. "I see so much crazy stuff out there that ain't hardly correct."

Wes is a mystery to 99 percent of the world. Clearly, he wants it like that and it's likely why so many athletes are comfortable with him. They know their business won't be in the street.

It's also why many of those who don't know him question his motives and duties. Then again, I don't know him in any depth, but I've seen no reason or proof to think he's done any dirt.

This is a dude who once had to move out of the way on the Dallas Cowboys sidelines while players gave then coach Jimmy Johnson a Super Bowl dousing.

That's juice and we ain't talking Gatorade.

Quick story: I'm in the visitor's locker room at Arco Arena a couple of years ago talking to then New Orleans head coach Byron Scott, assistant Paul Pressey and I think Kenny Gattison also was there. Somehow the conversation turned to Wes, and in walks Paul.

I think we'd been talking about how Wes seemed to be everywhere and how everybody knew him.

Said Paul, "Y'all talking bout Uncle Wes?"

We just started laughing as the point was made. Paul, now entering his sixth NBA season, still was a serious young boy at the time.

However, Paul, 25, said he'd known Wes for years. Paul also is represented by Rose and CAA, which also reportedly represents big ballers like Oprah and Will Smith. Rose also represents Sacramento Kings' Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi.

Wes said he had to do a quick dash off the phone, so I never got to ask him anything about 'Melo's situation.

I think it's safe to say I probably ended up with the same information I would have gotten had the questions been asked.

However, I'll trade any and all stories I can do on Wes, for the book deal. My man is a success story of the highest and most unique order.

Once again, I may have better odds at hitting a lottery than getting Wes for a tell-all.

However, right now I'll settle for a tell-some. Dos Equis might want to re-check their most interesting man in the world commercial.

Since I went to the 'Melo concept, imagine how nice life is when you are 26, have a standing offer of three years for $64 million from the Nuggets, and things are so sugary, you can just leave it there for some reason.

Now that's 'Melo.

I also talked Wednesday with former Kings draft choice Anthony Johnson, who played the past two seasons with the Orlando Magic.

Johnson, the 39th pick of the 1997 draft out of the College of Charleston has played with eight teams. Johnson, who will turn 36 Oct. 2, was not re-signed by the Magic but still wants to play.

"I'm working out, staying in shape and waiting to see what happens," Johnson said. "I want to try and go out on my own terms. I know that doesn't happen for everybody, but I still want to play before I shut it down. I'd like to go into coaching as an assistant if nothing comes up."

The NBA currently is going around the league and airing what it calls "NBA Real Training Camp" where practices are televised.

One of the teams featured is the New York Knicks so obviously success is not a prerequisite.

Vice President of Media Relations/Basketball Operations Troy Hanson said NBA Entertainment has plans to feature Evans, Casspi and first-round pick DeMarcus Cousins.

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