It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything from our man Mr. Wesley. But Bill Simmons readers got the chance to learn a little more about him this week, albeit in anecdotal form, through Simmons’ most recent piece on ESPN’s website. I’ll just get straight to the excerpt:
So it’s 2:45 in the morning on Friday night. All the Dallas bars and parties have either closed down or stopped letting people in. I’m standing on Main Street with a bunch of people, including Worldwide Wes, the renowned NBA power broker who’s really a cross between Confucius, a benevolent uncle and The Wolf in “Pulp Fiction” to assorted NBA superstars and up-and-coming stars. Known as “Uncle Wes” to the players, he carries more weight within the league than basically anybody. Because he keeps such a low profile, I could never figure out why. Which is why I went out of my way to spend some time with him on Friday night.
Back to Main Street: We’re standing with a young player who wants the night to keep going. The young player pushes to find another bar even though the odds are against it. Uncle Wes makes a face. He’s squashing this right now.
“Nothing good can happen at this point,” Wes explains simply. “You can’t chase the night. When the night is over, the night is over. That’s just the way it is. You just gotta wake up tomorrow and hope for a better day.”
Uncle Wes had spoken. I am not exaggerating by saying it’s a strangely profound moment. Within 15 seconds, our group splinters in three directions to look for cabs. I find one with my friend Connor. We climb in. We look at each other.
“I will never be able to properly explain that story to anyone,” Connor said.
Still, the question remains, what to make of Wes? Who is this man dispensing grandfatherly advice to prima donnas in the wee hours of the morning during All-Star weekend? Is he really this omnipotent figure lurking in the shadows of every important decision for basketball stars the world over? Why do so many powerful NBA figures–LeBron James, Allen Iverson, and Donnie Walsh, just to name a few–hold him in such high esteem? Is he really funneling players like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, and John Wall to whatever school John Calipari decides to coach? And, if so, does he already have a bug in the ear of Brandon Knight, Josh Selby, Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, and C.J. Leslie? We really need him to come through on those guys for us.