William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley is no longer expected to join the Knicks’ front office in any formal capacity, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Wesley was initially linked to the organization as news surfaced that his business partner, Leon Rose, was reportedly set to become New York’s next team president. Wesley has worked in multiple ventures, circling around the NBA industry for years, forming longtime associations with a slate of NBA players, including LeBron James and Allen Iverson. Rose, a CAA agent, has represented players such as Joel Embiid, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Karl-Anthony Towns and Carmelo Anthony.
While news of Rose’s hire has been confirmed from multiple reports, he must complete a process of formally leaving CAA before he can officially join the Knicks.
Rose is the latest player agent to be hired as a front-office executive, following Bob Myers in Golden State and Rob Pelinka in Los Angeles.
He’s replacing Steve Mills, who was fired just over 48 hours before the NBA trade deadline.
It also appears that New York is in the midst of a rebrand. Steve Stoute and his Translation agency were brought in to the Knicks, looking to shape the image of the franchise headed for its seventh consecutive season without a postseason appearance.
But on Tuesday, Stoute appeared to have overstepped his responsibilities during a TV appearance and alluded to future personnel changes.
“There had to be a change in [firing team president Steve Mills]. That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players,” Stoute said. “And they got some young players—you see RJ Barrett, Mitch Robinson. They got something to work with. And getting a coach in there and ultimately getting a coach and a coaching staff that’s going to help develop a team. That’s what I expect to happen so that we can actually get to what you expect from a New York team.”
Hours after the appearance, the organization commented on Stoute’s remarks.
“While Steve Stoute is a valued contributor to the Knicks’ marketing and branding efforts, he does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations,” the team said in a statement. “Any decisions regarding the operations of the team will be made by the new President of the New York Knicks.”
The Knicks (17-37) are 5-5 in their last 10 games, having moved to within six games of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.